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Former Rams square off in Chambers Academy season opener

A lot has changed since the Valley Rams lost in the second round of the 5A playoffs in the middle of November.

Head coach Buster Daniel is now at Lee-Scott, and several Rams’ have transferred to Chambers Academy. On Thursday when the Rebels open their season at Lee-Scott, Daniel and some of his former players will share the same field again, but they’ll be on opposite sidelines.

“It’s going to be a little strange, but it’s going to be fun,” said junior John White, who played safety in 2019 for the Rams. “He was my head coach for the last three years. Now, we get to play against him. I have nothing but respect for him.”

White is one of the many new faces that will play a big role for the Rebels in 2020. Overall, there are 21 new players on the Rebels’ roster that were either at a different school or were not on the varsity team in 2019.

“We feel like we have picked up some young men that are going to make our team more athletic and give us a lot more speed, a lot more opportunity to score,” head coach Jason Allen said. “Anytime you can put speed on the field, it gives you a great chance to excel.”

White will play both receiver and safety for Allen, pairing him with Payton Allen on both sides of the ball. Since they’ve been able to work together all summer, the pair have developed chemistry that will be important for the Rebels’ success on offense and defense. 

“We have a good chemistry, and we talk really well,” White said. “I think we’ll have a good year.”

TY Trammell is another key addition to the Rebels. 

Offensively, Trammell will play a big role, as Jason Allen has said multiple times during the summer that the Rebels will try to get the ball in Trammell’s hands whenever possible.

“I’m just glad that I can do something to help the team by using my God-given speed and doing something I like to do,” Trammell said.

On defense, he will play cornerback.

For both Trammell and White, since they played on defense at Valley, their summer has been working on getting more polished on their route running.

“I wasn’t used to running routes, but now I’m used to it and I like it,” Trammell said. 

On the offensive line, Austin Fetner,  who started as the Rams’ right tackle in 2019, will take over his same role for the Rebels.

He is taking over one of three starting spots that the Rebels graduated from 2019.

“It’s been fun [building chemistry with the other linemen]. The hardest part has been learning the plays,” Fetner said. “The other O-linemen are fun to be around, and they help you out when you don’t know the plays.”

The Rebels have started its season with the Warriors the last two years. They won both games handily, winning 36-7 and 41-0 in the last two matchups. The 2018 win against the Warriors ended a five-game losing streak from 2001-07.

Chambers Academy kicks off its season on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Lee Scott.