Rebels close out special 2023 season with ring ceremony

Published 3:17 pm Monday, May 13, 2024

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Chambers Academy finally got to celebrate the 2023 AISA 2A state champions on Monday as the community gathered to celebrate the champions and witness the team dawning its new jewelry for the first time. 

The ring ceremony served as one last bit of celebration commemorating the special season that Chambers Academy had on the football field. It also gave the coaches and players a chance to reflect on their accomplishments. 

“It’s always a special time,” Chambers Academy coach Jason Allen said. “They’ve been asking me for the last several months, ‘When are our rings going to be here?’ It just kind of puts a bow on the season. Just really proud of these guys. A lot of those memories come back when you start talking to them and talking about the season. It was a special day for our team, our kids and our school.” 

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Every member of the football team received a championship ring, but Chambers Academy took it a step further with its recognition. 

Every member of the cheerleading squad and the dance team also received pendants, and the Rebels also gave out jewelry to its media team and others involved with the team. 

“They’re a part of it,” Allen said. “Here at CA, football is a community-wide thing. It’s huge in our school. Our cheerleaders and dance team, we always give them the opportunity to be a part of that. I think it’s just really important that you surround yourself with good people and reward them for their accomplishments.” 

The players and coaches for the most part paid for the rings, and the team also received belt buckles commemorating their season. 

Allen won state championships with Chambers Academy in 2018 and 2020, but the 2023 state title team holds a special place in his heart and in Chambers Academy’s history. 

The Rebels put together a dominant season, finishing with a 12-1 record. Chambers Academy had eight All-State selections and dominated teams on defense. 

The Rebels allowed just over nine points per game in 2023 and beat their opponents by an average of 33 points per game. 

The stats and long list of accomplishments were not what made the 2023 team stand out amongst the other state championship teams. The Rebels were unlikely champions. Chambers Academy’s dominant season came as a surprise after the team fell to Lee-Scott Academy to start the season. 

In the season opener, the defense looked dominant, but the offense did not seem to have an identity. That offense came together with each game as the Rebels rattled off twelve wins in a row to end the season. 

“I don’t think anybody really saw it coming or expected it,” Allen said. “It had been several years since we had made it back to the championship game after a long string of going. They said they wanted to leave a legacy at the beginning of the year, and I felt like that’s the only way you’re going to leave a legacy is with a championship. It was just a great season. It was a magical season for our kids.” 

Chambers Academy was led on offense by the running back duo of Luke Tarver and Jacob Norgard. The pair each eclipsed 1,000 yards and were All-State selections. 

The Rebels had a great group of seniors on the team, but several key pieces will return next season. 

With all the success that Chambers Academy has had on the gridiron, it can be hard not to get complacent. The ring ceremony on Monday allowed the team and coaching staff to celebrate their accomplishments, but it also allowed the team to bring the 2023 season to a close. Now, the Rebels are fully focused on going back-to-back and making 2024 another special season in Chambers Academy’s history. 

“That’s the hard part, not letting contentment set in,” Allen said. “We’ve got to stay focused, and we want to make history now that we’re a 3A school. We want to win the first 3A state championship in school history. The other goal is being the first team in school history to go back-to-back.”