Chambers Academy opens 2019 media days with expectations of repeating

Published 4:19 pm Tuesday, July 23, 2019

OPELIKA — AISA Class A defending-champion Chambers Academy opened up the 2019 High School Football Media Days fielding questions. Seniors Jake Waldrop, Braxton Allen and junior Payton Allen represented the Rebels.

Chambers Academy head football coach Jason Allen gave high praise to senior linebacker Braxton Allen for being “the best defensive player that I’ve ever coached or coached against.”

Braxton Allen, who’s entering his fifth year as a starter, brushed off the comments.

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“I’m just trying to get better every single day,” Braxton said. “I’m not satisfied with anything that anybody has said I might’ve done or anything like that because I think that I can be even better. It sounds good, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to go to work.”

Coach Allen also mentioned that junior quarterback Payton Allen has had an impressive summer, throwing no interceptions in any of the 7-on-7 competitions.

“I definitely feel more confident heading into my junior year,” Payton said. “I’ve been working hard in the summer and I’ve been in the system since sixth grade doing this, so I felt like I was ready last year, but I do feel more comfortable going into junior year. For sure.”

After becoming “small town famous” in 2018, Chambers Academy’s new slogan for the year is to go the extra mile, a biblical principle-based off of Matthew 5:41.

The Rebels haven’t lost a home game since 2015, and have carried a 47-5 record over the last four seasons. Coach Allen attributed the team’s success to his coaching staff’s stability.

“Our staff has been together for the last five years,” he said. “We have the same philosophy, we know how each other thinks. We have a comfort level. We have a system that when it breaks, we know how to fix it. We’re going to be able to teach it to our young people that are not confusing to them. [I’m] really excited about our staff. They’ve got a lot of knowledge and a lot of guys that we can trust that we know will have each others’ backs when times get tough. We come from a great community where on Friday nights, football shuts down and all across this great country of ours, I think there’s a lot of small towns like that. At its core, that’s what high school football is.”

Chambers Academy has had to make a few adjustments to its schedule this year with a few AISA football programs no longer continuing, with one notable matchup coming in week two when head football coach John Copeland and Tuscaloosa Academy comes into town. Copeland is the former Valley High School standout who went on to play in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Rebels season begins at home against Lee-Scott on Aug. 23.