By Ashley Oliver
The Chambers Academy football team lost ten key players to graduation last year which might lead some to think the 2017-2018 season will be a year of rebuilding. If the results of the last two 7 on 7 playdates the Rebels have participated in are any indication of how the season will go then this sportswriter thinks things look pretty good for the Rebels.
Having a large team that was 2-3 players deep in each position last year sets the Rebels up for hopefully continued success this year. The 1A Rebels have participated with larger 3A schools such as Glenwood, Springwood, Lee-Scott and Macon-East in the 7 on 7 playdates and fared quite well.
State runners up two years running; the Rebels have a lot to prove.
Also with much to prove are Senior Quarterback, Blake Sheppard, and Freshman Quarterback, Payton Allen. Both alternated in the quarterback role during the playdates, competing for the starting position. After watching the playdates one thing is certain for Rebel fans; be ready to see more of a passing game from the Rebels offense this season. And who, you ask, will be on the other end of the ball? Most likely it will be Junior, Jordan Gillespie. Last year Gillespie proved his speed was not just beneficial on the baseball field. A year older, stronger and faster, Gillespie will be key for the Rebels’ offense. Other names you will hear often are Senior, Hunter Davis, who proves versatile in several positions and Senior, Matthew Keebler: both looking impressive in pre-season play.
In regards to the 7 on 7 playdates, Head Coach, Jason Allen, stated “It was a really good opportunity for us to get reps not only in our pass game but also on the defensive side. The work we get done in 7 on 7 is invaluable to us in preparation for fall camp and really cuts down on us having to work on those things against ourselves. It was a good afternoon for all teams as there were no injuries and the weather cooperated for the most part.”
The Rebels will participate in a football jamboree at Lee-Scott Academy on August 17th where Rebel fans will have the opportunity to see a preview of the entire Rebel team in action. The 1st official game of the 2017-2018 season will be August 25th at home against Cross Valley.
(Photo by Kelsey Oliver)