Gillespie runs for 349 as Rebels scorch Southwest Georgia, 48-12

Senior QB Christian Gillespie fights for some of his game high 349 yards on Friday night

Senior QB Christian Gillespie fights for some of his game high 349 yards on Friday night

Donnell Suggs
Sports Editor

The Chambers Academy Rebels defeated the visiting Southwest Georgia Academy Warriors by 37 points on Friday night and as odd as this following statement may sound had to fight for their seventh victory of the season, the game was much closer than the score indicates.

The first quarter ended with the Warriors-in town from Damascus, Ga.-down by a point, 16-15, after having had scored the game’s initial touchdown. What followed was two quarters of dominance by the Rebels (7-3) that once again re-established their rushing reputation. The Rebels would outscore their guest 48-12 during the second and third quarters before sharing a scoreless fourth quarter with SWGA.

Junior quarterback Malik Lyons picks up a few of his 49 yards with the help of a Jamie Brown block

Junior quarterback Malik Lyons picks up a few of his 49 yards with
the help of a Jamie Brown block

Chambers Academy would finish the game with 623 rushing yards and amazingly only 48 of those yards belong to junior quarterback Malik Lyons. The bulk of the damage was done by backs Christian Gillespie and Johntavious Flournoy. Gillespie, a senior, ran for 349 of those yards on 21 carries. For anyone out there doing the math that’s a 16.6 yards per carry average. Roughly a first down and a half every time he touched the ball. Flournoy, a junior and by all accounts the future recipient of the bulk of the carries next season, topped out at a 16.9 yards per carry pace on Friday, finishing the game with 186 yards on 11 carries.

Gillespie scored five times while Flournoy contributed three touchdowns (along with five tackles on defense). Two of which came on runs of 50 and 88 yards, respectively. Senior tight end Jamie Brown got in on the act too, catching one of the two Lyons completions for a 25 yard touchdown.

On the defensive side juniors Mateo Valdez and Dalton Thrower lead the team in tackles with eight and six, respectively. Friday’s game was a total team effort by the Rebels just in time for the postseason. “I am really proud of how our team came together,” said head coach Jason Allen. “We have really grown closer to God this season which brought our guys closer to each other and made [for] team chemistry.”

On Thursday, October 29 the Rebels will host the Coosa Valley Academy Rebels. The visiting Rebels (Harpersville, AL) are currently 0-9 in Class 2A Region 1 and have allowed their opponents 40+ points during their last four games.

LHS wins big on the road, 52-22

LaFayette's Jerquin Vines makes a touchdown catch

LaFayette’s Jerquin Vines makes a touchdown catch

Donnell Suggs
Sports Editor

It’s hard to pinpoint the play of the game when the final score is 52-22 like it was for LaFayette High school in Beulah on Friday night. The Bulldogs started fast and finished fast with barely a bump in between but if you had to pick a singular play that set the tone for the evening that moment would came with two seconds remaining in the first half with Lafayette already ahead 32-6.

Junior quarterback JaTarvious Whitlow took the snap and was immediately surrounded by Bobcat defenders with the horn sounding signaling the end of what was already a dominating first half of Bulldog football. Whitlow quickly reversed field with three Bobcats hot on his trail then threw a pass of his back right foot to the left side of the end zone where junior receiver Jamarious Beatty was waiting. The Bulldogs went up 38-6 at the half and the energy of the Beulah crowd-there celebrating Homecoming-was transferred to the visiting LaFayette fans.

The Bulldogs offense was powered by a number of fantastic performances none better than Whitlow’s 295 yard passing, 99 yard rushing, four touchdown pass (in addition to a rushing touchdown) and two defensive interception classic performance. Did I mention the junior and state champion guard score from 60 yards on a fumble recovery for the Bulldogs first points of the game.

The game didn’t necessarily start this way for LaFayette as following a 50 yard completion from Whitlow to JaMarquez Boston-Gaines that put the Bulldogs deep into Bobcat territory the Bulldogs immediately turned over the ball on a fumbled snap. The crisis would quickly be averted as the Bulldogs would score 16 unanswered points during the first quarter. They would score eight more points before an overmatched Bobcat squad scored their first touchdown midway through the second quarter on a five yard run by senior running back Kelvin Miller (106 yards rushing).

The Bulldog lead would balloon to as much as 44-6 early in the fourth quarter. Even when the LaFayette offense was halted by a penalty-calling back an 80 yard catch and run from Whitlow to sophomore running back Robert Houston, Jr.(65 yards on 10 carries)-the scoring continued. The following play had Whitlow complete another touchdown pass this time to JaMarquez Boston-Gaines for the 80 yards. Everything on offense was going the Bulldogs way, the defense wasn’t so bad themselves.

Senior Walter Dukes and sophomore Omar Boston were made their presences felt on defense the entire night combining for 33 tackles between them. Whitlow’s two interceptions aside, seniors safety Quentin Ray and cornerback Mathew Cartwright shut down the Bobcat receivers on the few occasions that sophomore quarterback Trent Lewis attempted to throw.

Bulldog head coach James Lucas had an opportunity to put a few Fall call-ups on the field with the game in hand early in the fourth quarter. Eighth grade defensive ends Aquanious “Yogi” Barker and Tariq Staples got a chance to get in on a few tackles on defense while fellow middle schooler Corey Boston took a few snaps at quarterback.

It wasn’t just the underclassmen that made the most of a rare opportunity, Tydareious Scott, a 6’0” junior receiver caught a couple passes while demonstrating the ability to get into open space. He may be the extra weapon the Bulldogs need heading into the playoffs. LaFayette will advance into the postseason not on the strength of what was their best overall performance of the season at Beulah but courtesy of a Reeltown win at home against Lanett. The loss dropped the Panthers to 5-5 on the season with the same exact Region 5 record as the Bulldogs. LaFayette’s 6-3 overall record (along with an early season defeat of Reeltown) leaves no need for tie-breakers.

Lucas feels the hard work is far from over for his team. “When you start the playoffs you’re 0-0 and it doesn’t matter if you went 10-0 or 6-3 during the regular season.” Lucas says, “That’s what the season is all about, you have to get into the mentality that every game is a big game.” Even the ones your team wins by 30 points on the road.

LaFayette will next host Saks on Thursday, October 29. The Bulldogs will have their ‘Senior Night’ celebration to close the regular season.

Follow Sports Editor Donnell Suggs and The LaFayette Sun on Twitter @suggswriter and @lsunnews

There’s been a Corey Boston sighting

Donnell Suggs
Sports Editor

The best eighth grade quarterback in the state of Alabama stood on the LaFayette Bulldogs sidelines at Beulah High School in Valley, Alabama this past Friday holding signal cards and a clipboard. After all that is what varsity backup quarterbacks do. With less than seven minutes to play in what would ultimately be a 30 point Bulldog victory LaFayette head coach and Athletic Director James Lucas decided to put in a few reserves, one of which was Corey Boston, the 5’3” 130 lb quarterback of the future.

The opportunity for Boston to take a few snaps under center has been few and far between this season with LaFayette holding, losing and regaining leads throughout the season. Friday’s game at Beulah quickly became a great chance for James to put the middle schooler in a competitive but game not close game. “It was the first game [this season] we had a chance to play the backups,” said Lucas. “He had a chance to get some reps.”

Though Boston and the Bulldog offense quickly went three and out there were many good things to take from his brief varsity season debut according to Lucas. “He’s not scared,” says Lucas about the Youtube sensation, Boston has a number of videos on the site including junior high school basketball packages that will strengthen the argument that he’s an even better basketball prospect than a football one. There’s no rule that states he can’t be successful in both, I clearly remember a certain Lebron James being a heck of a wide receiver prospect as a junior in high school at St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, Ohio. “He’s very confident in his abilities but he’s still in the learning stages,” said Lucas.

Boston didn’t get to throw an actual pass, his three downs of play only mustered about three yards of offense from hand offs to Bulldog half backs but the poise was very evident when you watched him call out cadence behind center. With another season of clipboard duty ahead-current junior quarterback JaTarvious Whitlow is looking more and more like the Class 2A Region 2 player of the year this season-his coach thinks there will be plenty more opportunities for the kid (and I mean that literally, he looks like a kid, smiles like a kid and sounds like a kid, well because he is one) to demonstrate his abilities on the big stage. “Corey’s going to be special,” says Lucas. “He’ll be way ahead of the competition when his time comes to be the starting quarterback.” Boston is not expected to see much if not any time this Thursday against Saks, the 4A, Region 6 Wildcats will be making their way into Bulldog Stadium for LaFayette’s Senior Night festivities. There’s no doubt Boston will be ready to signal in plays via the offensive coordinator, clipboard in hand.

Kind of like those people who say they saw Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, I saw the future of LaFayette High School football last Friday and he looks like a kid, smiles like a kid and sounds like a kid. A kid who will one day be king, and you had to be there to see it to believe it.

Follow The LaFayette Sun and Sports Editor Donnell Suggs on Twitter @lsunnews and @suggswriter

State champs begin basketball practice

Donnell Suggs
Sports Editor

Basketball practice at LaFayette High School officially started on Monday afternoon, October 19 but the defense of their Class 2A title began long before then in workouts. “The kids have been conditioning for the past five, six weeks,” says head coach Obadiah Threadgill during a recent interview with this reporter. “About 70 percent of this year’s team plays football so we’re looking forward to getting those football players back, hopefully they all stay healthy,” said Threadgill.

The first practice of the season usually gives the coaching staff plenty of reasons to work on fundamentals even for a reigning state champion. According to coach Threadgill the morning session-practices are regularly held after school at 3:30 pm-was just a way to get to the team together and see who was ready for the title defense and who may have their mind on other pursuits. “It was a promising first day of practice,” said the Tuskegee University alumnus and 12th year coach-Threadgill had previously coached at Beauregard High School. “We have some guys that are committed to excellence and are trying to do everything the right way.”

There were only seven players at practice last week so the team went through drills and team building exercises for an hour and forty-five minutes. The rest of the “basketball” players are expected back on court as soon as the football team is done with their final regular season football game at home against Saks on Friday and with the playoffs. “I support football,” said Threadgill, “We won a state championship last year coming off of a 1-9 football season so I’m hoping that we can do the same this season coming off of a successful football season.” As theories go that doesn’t sound like bad logic at all.

The Bulldogs are currently 6-3 and have six players that are all set to get quality minutes for the basketball team this season. Along with football players Shanethesis Williams, JaMarquez Boston-Gaines, Nicholas Beaty, JaTarvious Whitlow, DeVantae King and Quentin Ray, there are also a few new additions to the team that are expected to make an impact. “We have a couple of transfers in from Florida, Valley and Roanoke (AL) that will most certainly contribute,” says Threadgill who was named the 2015 Class 2A Coach of the Year by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. “Our kids need to know that there’s competition for their spots in order to get the best out of them.”

The loss of senior power forward Trevond Barnes, who signed with Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, will not be easily replaced, you don’t find 6’8” scoring machines around town too often so Threadgill and his staff are going to continue preaching team ball and defensive intensity. A full practice roster would be helpful though. That opportunity will come as the basketball regular season creeps closer and closer beginning in Seale, AL on November 19 against Russell County High School. The title defense begins and so the journey to what may very well be another title. “It’s a process, we’re running a marathon not a sprint,” said Threadgill. “I spend as much time coaching about character than I do X’s and O’s,” he says. Now if only we can get ten players on the practice floor.

Follow The LaFayette Sun and Sports Editor Donnell Suggs on Twitter @lsunnews and @suggswriter

A “Thank You” note

Thank YouI would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the city of LaFayette for reigniting my passion for many things, among them high school sports, live bands, small towns, warm Friday nights and newspapers. Let me explain.

Thank you for the smell of hot dogs fresh off the grill at Bulldog Stadium. That smell always drags me kicking and screaming back to my youth and to the block parties on the street I grew up on back east. More on that later. Thank you for the sweet sound of the LaFayette High School band before, during and after football games. Win or lose (The Bulldogs are 4-2 at home and I feel like the band is as responsible for that success as any other non-playing entity) the Bulldog Band always brings the goods and in attendance is better for it in my opinion. Thank you for reminding me that I’m never too old to get wrapped up in a game but experienced enough to know that this “job”-newspaper Sports Editor-is pretty cool and I’m the lucky one.

The TOWN/CITIZENS

Thank you to the citizens of LaFayette, the people that have welcomed me into their schools, onto their fields and into their kid’s lives as first a sports reporter and now as the Sports Editor of the LaFayette Sun. With a population of 2,999 (according to current numbers by city-data.com) I would like to immediately submit my application for town citizenship in order to be number 3,000. In fact it would be my honor. Originally named “Chambersville” and established in 1835, the town got its current moniker from a French military officer, Marquis de Lafayette, who fought on the side of the Americans during the Revolutionary War. Newspaper Editor Johnson J. Hooper was influential in changing the spelling of the town’s name using the now famous “capital F” and away it went. The tie in: Hooper created a southern character for his columns named Captain Simon Suggs who pronounced the name of the town as “La Fait.” My surname and its relation to that fictional character predates my father’s father by at least 60 years so the name “Suggs” and the fact that I am now writing for the paper that helped establish the town’s name will connect me with LaFayette forever. When you see me at a football game or at basketball practice or down at Jack’s feel free to let me know how I’m doing. Thank you people of LaFayette for welcoming me home.

The STATUE

Back in August on my first trip into town I noticed a statue in front of the Chambers County courthouse. What I didn’t know was that the bronze masterpiece (an 8-foot statue by Casey Downing of Mobile) was of one of my heroes, Joe Louis, the Brown Bomber, the champ. I’m a huge boxing fan and Mr. Louis’ career is one of legend. He and his family-named Barrow before the boxer would drop it as an amatuer and go on to world fame as simply Joe Louis-moved to Detroit during the Great Migration efforts of the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s when he was 10 years old. Ten years later he would be the lightweight Golden Gloves champ of Detroit and turn professional. The rest as they say is history. Joe Louis Barrow is not just a native son of Alabama, he was from LaFayette, went to school in LaFayette, walked the streets and dreamed of becoming a star like all 10 year old kids dream, in LaFayette. How can that not be a source of pride for anyone that’s ever stepped foot in this town. It is for me and I have only been here for three months. Joe Louis, forever a Heavyweight Champion of the World, died in Paradise, Nevada in 1981, is immortalized in Detroit, Michigan (see: Joe Louis Arena), buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia and was born in LaFayette, Alabama. Thank you city of LaFayette for bringing me closer to my boxing inspiration. Rest in peace Champ.

The COACHES

The first time I called LaFayette High School to get some information on the upcoming football season head football coach and Athletic Director James Lucas made me feel like we were old friends catching up on even older times. It still feels that way whenever we meet on the football fields in LaFayette, Lanett and most recently in Beulah. I look forward to our next meeting. LaFayette Offensive line coach and head baseball coach Michael Pattillo and I have a good laugh every pre-game, I also look forward to those laid back moments before we both put on our hard hats and turn into adults coaching and covering a kids game under the ‘Friday Night Lights’. Those moments have been few and far between during my decade long career covering the NBA, NCAA and high school sports in Georgia. Thank you for that coaches, I needed it.

The STATE

Dear state of Alabama, I know your history with my people, the African-American men and women of this great state and the 49 others of the Union, has been checkered to put it lightly. Scenes from the Oscar winning ‘Mississippi Burning’ was filmed in downtown LaFayette, I guess the film’s producers and director believed a small town in Alabama looked more like Jim Crow Mississippi than an actual town in Mississippi. For the record the film did win an Oscar for cinematography so I guess they were right. I wanted to let you know that I have fallen for one of your cities, LaFayette. It’s been good to me and I to it, so we’ve decided to continue our relationship as sports writer and town, writer and inspiration, journalist and news beat. History is the only thing that never dies. The history between you and my people won’t ever be forgotten but it has gotten better and that has a lot to do with some really hard work from some good people who are no longer here to see the rewards of their work in action. It’s my job as a reporter to make sure the next generation doesn’t forget but also enjoys the diversity of a new Alabama. At the Homecoming festivities this past weekend at Beulah High School there was an African American female, a junior, being escorted to midfield by a white male, also a junior. This isn’t possible in Alabama fifty years ago, maybe not even 20 years ago but was on a Friday night in 2015. I like the new Alabama, I respect the old Alabama and will keep both in my mind whenever I put pen to paper for the LaFayette Sun. Thank you Alabama for NOT staying the same.

Thank You 2The NEWSPAPER

My Publisher is from Michigan, the glue that holds the newspaper’s office together, Mrs. Lisa Edge, is a native Alabamian, I’m from Brooklyn, New York. We all have one thing in common that stands above everything else-our humanity, religion, color, faith-we all love newspapers. The newspaper I speak of is the LaFayette Sun, it’s office sits on 116 LaFayette Street S. less than 100 feet from the STATUE, a few blocks away from the school that the COACHES work and teach in and in the heart of downtown LaFayette, ALABAMA where all the CITIZENS can find it if they need to. The newspaper allows me to be a member of a small group of specialist, journalist. For that I will be a loyal member and representative. Thank you LaFayette Sun for allowing me to once again join the fold of newspaper men and women, the ink stained few who every week (in our case) try to entertain and inform in the only way we know how, with words. Speaking of words here are two  more: Thank You.

Donnell Suggs

Rebels lock up #2 seed

Rebels roll over South Montgomery 41-14

Rebels roll over South Montgomery 41-14

Donnell Suggs
Sports Editor

The Chambers Academy Rebels are currently comfortably in second place in the AISA Region 1 standings following Friday’s 41-14 victory over visiting South Montgomery County Academy (0-3 region, 0-7 overall). With the regional season finished the Rebels will host their first round playoff game in a few weeks. Making the win over SMCA on Friday even more important for the big picture. Rebel coach Jason Allen and his coaching staff approached this past game like a playoff game and the team responded early and often. “We were the better team but you have to come out and execute,” said Allen. Our guys came out and took care of business.”

The Rebels opened the first quarter with a 22 point onslaught that went unanswered until well into the second quarter. By that time they were ahead 35-6 at the half. The rebels would manage to score only six points for the rest of the contest having put in backups on both offense and defense, the Raiders still only managed eight points of offense. An overall dominant performance for the Rebels who were lead in rushing by senior back Christian Gillespie with 163 yards on 15 carries. Junior quarterback Malik Lyons threw for 33 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 118 yards. Gillespie and Lyons both scored two touchdowns, junior back Jontavious Flournoy caught a touchdown pass from Lyons and ran for 66 of Chambers Academy’s 378 rushing yards.

Gillespie led coach Jason Allen’s Rebels with 163 yards on 15 carries and a pair of TDs (Photos Jody Stewart )

Gillespie led coach Jason Allen’s Rebels with
163 yards on 15 carries and a pair of TDs (Photos Jody Stewart )

With two more games to play there have been some individual milestones met by both Gillespie and Lyons, respectively. Gillespie has run for over 1,300 yards (1,328 total) while Lyons broke the 1,000 yard mark (1,084) this season. The pair is state’s only 1,000 yard duo within any region or class. Having accomplished this feat twice before through ten games, Coach Allen was impressed with the current version of his team’s rushing attack, “Not sure we’ve ever done it after eight games though,” said Allen over the phone a few days after the game.

The Rebel defense was no slouch against SMCA either with Braxton Allen recording 10 tackles, Mateo Valdez nine, freshman CJ Lyons seven and Colby Boone getting the team’s sole sack to go along with five tackles. Gillespie had nine tackles.

The goal of a playoff home opener met, the Rebels are looking to finish the season a good note according to Coach Allen. “We need to finish up the season strongly and continue to improve.”

Chambers Academy will next host Southwest Georgia Academy on Friday. The Warriors are coming off of an impressive 36-30 win over Flint River Academy and are in first place in GISA Region 3AA. Coach Allen and his staff know they won’t be a pushover. “[They] have a really good team and will be a real test for our team,” said Allen. I don’t know a whole lot about them except for what I’ve seen on film but we are looking forward to the game.” If SWGA coaching staff did their homework they know that they’re in for quite a test too.

Turnovers, 4th quarter doom Bulldogs in loss against the Panthers

Jatarvious Whitlow tries to break free from a tackle. (Photo Todd Van Emst/ OA News)

Jatarvious Whitlow tries to
break free from a tackle.
(Photo Todd Van Emst/ OA News)

Donnell Suggs
Sports Editor

What a difference a season makes? Almost exactly a year ago to the date (October 17, 2015 to be exact) the Lanett Panthers traveled 12 miles to Bulldog Stadium and beat rival LaFayette High 47-6.

There is a huge difference between the scenarios this year and last, when the Bulldogs were on a six game losing streak on their way to a 10-loss season. On Friday they came into the game-this time on the road-with five wins and a chance to lock up a playoff spot.

To answer the earlier question, a season makes a huge difference. A day before the game Bulldog coach and LaFayette High School Athletic Director James Lucas thought so too, “Friday night is going to have playoff implications, and you don’t want to have to leave our fate in the hands of another team. It’s up to us to take care of business.”

On Friday night at Lanett’s Morgan-Washburn Stadium the Panther’s revealed why they are now 5-0 at home and with their 38-14 victory over rival LaFayette and now in a better position to make a playoff run.

It was the start of homecoming weekend at Lanett High School and the entire home side of the stadium was full. The fact that the Panthers were hosting rival LaFayette brought out hundreds more to fill the away side of the stadium as well. There was little doubt that everyone in attendance knew how important this game was to the postseason for both teams.

For those who may not have followed football-the fans that stood near the fences outside of the stadium or played music and barbequed across the street at the apartments near Lanett High School-the game pitted one town against another and that was enough to get their undivided attention. Most of Chambers County was in attendance for what looked like the game of the year in Class 2A, Region 5 football. However the atmosphere would well outscale the actual game.

The nail in the Bulldog coffin came during the fourth quarter with the Panthers ahead by a score of 22-14. A few minutes earlier Bulldog junior quarterback JaTarvious Whitlow threw a 10 yard pass to fellow junior receiver Zarian Heard to bring LaFayette within eight points followed by the Bulldogs sole successful two-point conversion of the game.

No less than three plays later Lanett junior quarterback (and the head coach’s son) Clifford Story III connected on a 30 yard pass to senior back Tavaris Geiger to put the Panthers on the Bulldog 10 yard line. Time and time again the Panther offense made quick work of the Bulldog defense, quickly scoring and putting out any fires LaFayette might have started to set offensively. Two plays later freshman running back Terrion Truitt would score to make the score 28-14.

The Panthers would connect on four of their five two-point conversion attempts on the evening. Story III and Geiger would connect again with 2:30 remaining in the game to put the Panthers ahead by what would be the final score.

During LaFayette’s three losses this season there has been a consistent theme: costly turnovers. Friday night at Lanett was no different as the Bulldogs fumbled the snap on their second possession of the game not long after the Lord’s Prayer was sang aloud by the fans, coaches and players in attendance. NOTE: For this reporter, that was one of the most moving moments of my decade-long career and gives me goosebumps when I reimagine hundreds of people singing their praises “before we prepare for battle,” according to the announcer.

With 3:34 remaining in the first quarter following an eight play drive the Panthers would score their first touchdown of the game on a three yard run by junior running back Melvaunta Robinson. Lanett would head into their locker room at halftime with a 14-6 lead, a Whitlow 62 yard kick return touchdown the thing keeping LaFayette from a scoreless first half. The junior quarterback went 8-15 through the air for 187 yards while rushing for 80. The three interceptions he threw on the night gave Whitlow nine for season against nine touchdown passes.

Defensively LaFayette played a more schizophrenic style unseen thus far this season. “The defense did an outstanding job during the first half,” said head coach James Lucas. Unfortunately there are two halves in a football game and though senior defenders Walter Dukes (7 tackles), Takeo Higgins (8 tackles), Mathew Cartwright, Shanethesis Williams (2 tackles, one sack) DeVantae King (8 tackles) and Quentin Ray (3 tackles and an interception) played hard it was far from good enough on Friday.

The Bulldogs were given practice off on Monday in advance of Fall Break.

LaFayette will next travel to Valley to play Beulah High School, a Class 3A, Region 3 program on Friday. The Bobcats are currently 1-8 (1-5 Region).

Lady Rebels win, now in Elite Eight

Donnell Suggs
Sports Editor

Senior Anslee Reece sets the ball for her teammates against Cornerstone (Photo Ashley Oliver)

Senior Anslee Reece sets the ball for her teammates
against Cornerstone (Photo Ashley Oliver)

The Lady Rebels of Chambers Academy started their postseason journey on Tuesday, October 13 at Crenshaw Christian for the first round of the Regional Tournament. Chambers Academy would go on to defeat Crenshaw Christian Academy in a hard fought five set victory echoing the competitive rivalry the programs have developed. Winning that crucial match locked the Lady Rebels in for a spot at the Elite 8 Tournament.

Sophomores Holli Traffanstedt and Keksey Oliver block a Cornerstone advance (Photo Ashley Oliver)

Sophomores Holli Traffanstedt and Keksey Oliver block a
Cornerstone advance (Photo Ashley Oliver)

Next the Lady Rebels advanced to play Cornerstone Christian School on Thursday, October 15. The Lady Chargers would win and put the Lady Rebels up against Edgewood Academy in a winner move on situation. Once again Chambers Academy would lose and ultimately be eliminated.

On Thursday, October 22 the Elite 8 Volleyball tournament begins and Chambers Academy will have a chance to reignite their postseason mission. The Lady Rebels open on the road in York to play the Sumter Academy Lady Eagles.

The Elite 8 is a single elimination tournament.

Senior Watch: Jamie Brown- TE/DE Chambers Academy

SENIOR WATCHDonnell Suggs
Sports Editor

Number 23 in white and blue is not necessarily a football fan. ”I don’t watch a lot of football to be honest,” says Jamie Brown. Despite not spending his Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons and nights watching college and professional football the Chambers Academy senior tight end and defensive end has been an integral part of what is now a really good Rebel football team. Did I mention he also plays third base and pitches for the baseball team? With baseball being his favorite sport, he’s a numbers guy, more on that later.

Brown is a senior leader by every definition and is enjoying his final football season. “I think we have a strong team with a lot of potential,” he says. “My job is to keep everybody playing to their best ability and to not lose sight of our goal which is to win a championship.” His coach Jason Allen trust him to do those things and more. “Jamie is a great kid and student, says Allen, who is also the school’s Athletic Director. He has really come into his own during his senior year.”

At 6’5” he is a huge target on offense and a headache for opponents as a defensive end. Brown leads the team with four sacks and has even grabbed an interception this season. When asked if he wants to take his physical style of play to the next level he was quick with his response: “No, I don’t think so but I do plan on attending Southern Union State Community College in Wadley [next year].” The foundation of Brown’s focus and versatility comes from hard work and that work ethic comes from his parents Jonathan and Lyn. Having a little brother at home (Chambers Academy 6th grader Jacob, who is currently wreaking havoc on pee wee football fields near you) puts Brown in the position to be a role model on and more importantly off the field.

With the regular season winding down and just two games remaining before the AISA playoffs the humble Brown knows he has much more to work on as a player headed into his final high school postseason. “I could always play better, said Brown. But I think I improved a lot over the years.” His five tackles on Friday during the Rebel’s 41-14 win over South Montgomery County Academy once again demonstrating his effort and contribution to Chambers Academy’s current success. Brown has 49 tackles, a team high five sacks and an interception through eight games this season.

Jamie’s favorite class is Math which is taught by his favorite teacher Ms.Taylor and he’s already doing the arithmetic on the Rebel baseball team for next Spring. “We have a lot of new players and a lot more talent than we’ve had before.” Whether he’s playing football or baseball, defensive end or tight end, third base or toeing the rubber, when you do the math Jamie Brown is going to be a winner.

Gillespie leads Rebels to Homecoming victory

CA FootballDonnell Suggs
Sports Editor


Photos by Jody Stewart

The Crenshaw Christian Academy Cougars drew even with the Chambers Academy Rebels 7-7 during the fourth quarter of their game on Friday night. The problem with that was they were losing 28-0 going into that period. Chambers Academy beat the Cougars 35-7 to move to 5-2 on the season with three more regular season games to play.

Running back Christian Gillespie scored four of the five Rebel touchdowns to go along with his 205 yards on 15 carries. That put the senior at 1,165 rushing yards for the season. He also managed to have an interception and eight tackles in the game. Junior quarterback Malik Lyons had 100 yards rushing in the game and is himself 34 yards away from a 1,000 yard rushing season. Their coach is impressed with both the runners and their blockers, “Both are great accomplishments and are a testament to our offensive line,” said Rebels head coach and school Athletic Director Jason Allen speaking of Brinson Sheffield, Mateo Valdez, Reilly Birditt, Trent Dodgen, Trey Waldrop, Jaime Brown and Justin Smith.

CA Football2The Rebels were ahead 21-0 at halftime before finishing the game with 332 rushing yards and two fumbles. The turnovers are what concerns the coaching staff despite winning by a large margin. “I think there are still a lot of areas we can get better,” said Allen. Jontavious Flournoy, a junior, carried the ball six times for 27 yards and had eight tackles on defense.

The Rebels will travel to South Montgomery County Academy in Grady, Al. on Friday night. Though the Raiders are winless they still are showing up on Allen’s radar. The Raiders have lost their past three games by an average of 30 points. “[They] are a much improved team over last season so our guys will need to be ready,” he said.

Junior Varsity:

The Rebels JV side defeated Lakeside 36-22 at home on Tuesday, October 6. The Rebels went up 30-6 at the half. Both Hayden Harris (155) and CJ Lyons (140) had over 100 yards rushing in the game. Harris scored four touchdowns and had seven tackles on defense. Braxton Allen lead all defenders with nine tackles, Logan Broome had the game’s only interception.

“Defensively our guys lined up and played their leverage much better and our tackling was improved over the last [game],” said head JV and varsity coach Jason Allen.

The Rebels will next host Springwood on Tuesday, October 13.

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