Chamblee’s New Quarterbacks

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Chamblee’s football team from a past season. Photo courtesy of the Chamblee High School Football Twitter page (@Chamblee FB).

Lyvia Huang, Reporter

As evidenced by the turnout at our home games, football is one of Chamblee’s favorite sports, and with next year’s quarterbacks selected, our team is getting ready for its upcoming season. The three players who are vying for the spot of starting varsity quarterback have a summer of intensive training ahead of them.

When deciding who earns the position of starting quarterback, the Chamblee football coaches will take into account more than the candidates’ athletic abilities.

“We have 3 rising senior football players who are trying to become our QB: Dempsey Allers, LaMario Dukes, and Ashton Bolston. The biggest thing that they need to bring to the team is leadership. They are all good athletes, but we will need to see who can lead the team,” said Robert Swank, the head coach.

Michael Freeman, another of the Chamblee football coaches, agrees that while the starting quarterback must be up for the physical challenges of the role, they must also be a strong leader who’s able to set an example for the team.

“We want a starting quarterback who’s going to handle the on-the-field aspects of the position: throwing the football, running the offense, and things like that. But we also want someone who’s a leader on and off the field, somebody who’s doing the right thing and can help lead our team to another successful season this year,” said Freeman.

One Chamblee football player believes that for the role of starting quarterback, reliable leadership capabilities are more important than athletic skill and can sometimes compensate for lower athletic abilities.

“I think being a leader is the most important part of being a quarterback because you’re the one facilitating all the plays. You need your players to trust you. You need to be a driving force that allows your teammates to want to do well and want to be great. So I’d say being a leader is the most important aspect of being a quarterback, and sometimes having strong leadership can overcome having low athletic talent,” said Joey David (‘25).

With last season’s extremely skilled quarterback Fabian Walker graduating this year, the new starting quarterback will have a lot to live up to. Ashton Bolston (‘24), one of the candidates for the position, is confident that he’s up for the challenge.

I transferred to Chamblee last year from Lakeside, and in such little time, I’ve been able to be a part of something big, leading the state in blocked punts and being recruited like I’ve never been before. Playing quarterback comes with so much responsibility, but I know I can handle it,” said Bolston.

Dempsey Allers (‘24), another of the three candidates for starting quarterback, has a long history with the Chamblee team and is looking forward to furthering his football career.

I’ve played football my whole life, and I started practicing with the team in 8th grade because my brother was the starting quarterback. I’ve played receiver, corner, and safety in high school and just about every other position besides quarterback prior to highschool. I’m looking forward to playing quarterback,” said Allers.

The Chamblee football coaches hope to implement changes to the team’s structure and practices to improve the team’s overall performance, and the new starting quarterback can help the coaches carry out these changes.

“We always go through and reflect on the previous year and decide what we can improve on, make things a little bit more efficient practice-wise. One of the things that we’re gonna go into this spring and this year is having everybody focus on a single position. We’re trying to have everyone get better at one thing and then eventually learn a second position later down the road,” said Freeman.

Despite losing its star quarterback, the Chamblee football team is prepared to continue to work hard for the upcoming season, and each of the players in the running to be the next starting quarterback has the drive and ambition to lead the team successfully.

“Fabian is leaving, and he was a very experienced, very well-rounded quarterback. But now, we have a chance to to do something else, to go down a different road,” said David. “Every one of these new quarterbacks brings an energy that we really haven’t seen before that is definitely needed for the quarterback position. They’re ready to learn and ready to continue building the road to a great Chamblee football program.”