INDIANAPOLIS — When you're a high school football coach, fall means a lot of time spent on the field and a lot less time spent at home. But when Ben Davis High School head coach Jason Simmons looks down the sideline on Friday nights, he sees the best of both worlds: his football family and his real family.
"When you talk about family and you want your program to be about family," Simmons said, "we spend so much time with everybody else's kids, so to coach one, have one running the ball boy on the sideline and have one taking pictures, you know Ben Davis football is truly a family for us.”
The coach isn't the only Simmons involved with Ben Davis football - three of his four kids are, too! His oldest son, Brady, is a senior wide receiver on the team.
"It's pretty cool thing to wake up every day and see your dad's your coach," Brady said. "You get to go home with him every day, too. He's a football coach and a life coach."
For the most part, they leave football at the field and stick to father and son at home. But there are times it transcends.
"There are times we'll sit down and watch film together," Jason said. "He'll pop in on a Saturday night if I'm working on the next opponent and he'll be like "what do you think?" and I'm like what do you think? You gotta put the work in, too!"
Then there's his youngest son, Connor. He's in his first year as the Giants' ball boy and coach said he's doing a pretty good job so far.
"It feels good because you're able to be on the sidelines to experience and have fun," Connor Simmons said.
Even Jason's daughter, Megan, has a role. She's taken on the job as team photographer.
"I always grew up knowing football with my dad and my brother," Megan laughed. "It just will never stop."
"To watch her chase a passion and to be able to have a platform like Ben Davis football to do that platform to give that to her. And to watch her go home and edit the pictures and know the work she puts in to give these guys something to post on their socials is really cool," her father said.
Within the Ben Davis football program, the term "family" has dual meaning - both literally and figuratively.