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The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

A Guide to Every Chamblee Sport

Chamblees+2023-2024+Swim+and+Dive+team%2C+the+Chamblee+Bullsharks.+All+photos+courtesy+of+Chamblee+Yearbook
Chamblee’s 2023-2024 Swim and Dive team, the Chamblee Bullsharks. All photos courtesy of Chamblee Yearbook

At Chamblee High School, many athletes face challenges because of all that is expected of them, such as keeping up with school, representing their team in and outside their sport, and rigorous training before, during, and after the season. However, many of Chamblee’s athletes are more than capable of meeting these standards—with the right information. Being an athlete comes with high expectations, expectations that Lori Reynolds, the Chamblee Athletics Director, hopes every athlete will meet.

“I want athletes to be a step above the average kid around here, academically, behaviorally, and to just [have a] good attitude. I want students to be proud that they are part of a Chamblee sports program,” said Reynolds. “When Chamblee walks through the door, I want people to be afraid.”

Swim and Dive

The swim and dive season starts with a splash in winter. With over one hundred swimmers on the team, the Chamblee Bullsharks are open to all who may want to join.

“The number one thing that we require is that you commit to the team; we have a commitment contract that basically outlines the attendance expectations, and as long as you can safely swim the 300 freestyle and commit to coming to practices, then we welcome you to the team,” said Gregory Valley, one of the swim coaches.

If you want to try out for the swim team, be prepared to have your endurance put to the test. “Practices are usually an hour long […] the practices start with a warm-up, 600 yards or so, consisting of kicking, pulling, swimming, and mostly freestyle. We then work on sprint work, starts, dives, and turns,” said Valley. 

Many love the sport’s welcoming team environment and constant support at the practices and meets. 

“I like seeing everyone in one space together and hearing everyone get recognized for their hard work, boosting each other, and getting excited together,” said Lily Gamba (‘25), one of the captains of the Chamblee Bullsharks.

When not swimming for the team, there are other ways that athletes stay in shape.

“When I’m not swimming [for Chamblee], I work out and spend a lot of time in the pool, dropping time and generally building strength,” said Gamba.

Baseball

Are you trying to hit some home runs this year? Baseball is the perfect opportunity to do so. The baseball team offers conditioning that can help get you into shape, which is essential to prevent possible injuries.

“We do [run conditioning]; it’s pretty important if for no other reason than just to prevent injuries,” said Coach Brian Ely. “Baseball is a game in which a lot of standing around is normalized, and sometimes it is [a lot of standing around], but it can also involve a lot of quick twitch muscles, and it’s a game of explosions. So it’s really easy, if you’re not prepared, to get injured or stay injured if you’re not physically equipped.”

For baseball players, there are high expectations from their coach, peers, and fellow teammates.

“I expect [the athlete] to show up, give a good effort, and do their best to make themselves better in order to make the team better. Outside of school, I expect them to behave, do their work, listen to their parents, and take care of their bodies and minds outside of here as well,” said Ely.

Basketball

The Chamblee women’s basketball team.
The Chamblee men’s basketball team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chamblee’s basketball teams have formed a one-of-a-kind family and built strong friendships over the past few seasons. “I like playing with my friends; I really consider [my teammates] my brothers. I have been playing with them for two years, and it’s really fun, and the coaches are really supportive,” said Donovan Smith (‘26).

For many, basketball is a lifelong commitment.

“I will play all four high school years and hopefully attend college for basketball,” said Smith.

Many enjoy the exciting and intense spirit of the games throughout the season.

“The basketball season is lit and has the most intense games,” said Amani Brown (‘24).

Cheer and Dance

The Chamblee varsity cheerleading team.
The Chamblee junior varsity cheerleading team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are a girl who loves cheering on the teams from the stands at Chamblee, the cheer and dance teams would be the places for you. Open to many, the teams create a supportive environment for all who try out for a place on the court or the field sideline.

“[Being on the team] is like being a part of a sisterhood,” said Brown, the captain of Epiphany, Chamblee’s dance team.

Practices for the team can include anything from stretching to conversing.

“To prepare, we stretch; if we have anything on our minds, we have circle talks to relate our thoughts,” said Brown.

Being on the team can bring many memories for those who join.

“People should join the next season because it’s fun and healing to some. It’s great exercise and full of unforgettable moments and experiences,” said Brown.

Cross Country 

For athletes who enjoy long-distance running, cross country is the perfect fit. Kicking off in August, athletes should be prepared for a very hot season.

“The hardest time to get in shape is during the hot summer months, between June and July. If [athletes] are not used to running in the heat, it’s miserable. Summer practices are held in the morning, typically 7:30 am, trying to get out in the coolest temperatures,” said Jennifer Tinnell, cross country coach. “If [the athletes] aren’t able to run with us, they should be running 30 to 35 miles a week, just making sure that they get a base mileage so they don’t just come out day one and think they’re gonna be able to run.”

The team provides extra support for those with less experience and minimal time qualification.

“I would say to join if you are interested. If you want to do a sport and you’re a beginner, [cross country] is a good one to start with,” said Cooper Malone (‘24), a team captain. “You don’t really need much prior skill, and the team is always really supportive to people who are new to it because we teach our new runners how to get better.”

Flag Football

Chamblee’s flag football team.

2023 was the first year of flag football at Chamblee High School; with high expectations, the coach, Erica Harris, is ready to warm up future athletes for next year.

“It’s not powder puff, [so] many of [the players] were caught off-guard. It’s very competitive, and you need to have the mentality to get out there, work hard, and be a team player,” said Harris. 

For those looking to try out, Harris has advice for what you need as an athlete on the team.

“Teamwork, dedication, hard work, tenacity, and working all four quarters. Be coachable—if you do that, you’ll go a long way,” said Harris.

Despite the novelty of the sport, flag football still requires athletes to put in extra work to be in shape for the season. 

“Understanding the game is the biggest thing […] I would also say to condition—run alone in the summer, maybe a mile,” said Harris. “It is good for athletes to do weight training. If not, [they should] try to do weight training at home, like squats or push-ups.”

Football

Chamblee’s football team.

Do you want to score some touchdowns? If so, football is a great sport, open to those willing to put in the effort and time required. 

“We are always open to new players. I’ve had many guys try out for the team in high school for the first time and do really well, [even] get football scholarships. If they like the game, they should give it a shot,” said Bob Swank, one of the football coaches. 

Conditioning for football is year-round, requiring a lot of training from the athletes with a minimal off-season.

“You have to have perseverance. You have to be able to get over the hard stuff. We had to deal with a lot of adversity this year. I feel that, especially for somebody just joining, you have to be able to get over adversity,” said Ashton Bolston (‘24), the Chamblee Bulldogs quarterback.

Conditioning is no easy task, as it is time-consuming and strenuous, making athletes work for the opportunity to be on the team. 

“When March comes around, we are going to start going outside, running, and doing speed and agility drills. That will continue through the whole summer until August,” said Swank. “It really is never-ending.”

Golf

Although golf is infamous for its meticulous techniques and stressful reputation, the golf team offers a relaxed and welcoming environment to all of Chamblee’s students.

“Most people who try out for golf will make the team. We only ask that you attend every practice, pay the dues, and bring your own clubs. We have two groups of students: one is competitive, and they are our varsity,” said Brett Wilson, Chamblee’s golf coach. “There is also a small contingency of kids who are there for the lessons and want to take advantage of being on the golf course and learning more about what they can do there.”

The season starts in February and ends at the beginning of May. Practices can be held at various locations depending on the type of skill being developed. 

“Practices vary; sometimes we are at school, and we like to hit a special kind of ball outside the practice field. Other times, we are at the driving range, but this year, our practices are going to change with the addition of some of our sponsors,” said Wilson.

As with every sport, golf has its ups and downs, but rewarding all the same.

“Golf is a very frustrating sport, but also a very rewarding sport. It is a lifelong skill, like many other things. So if you have a passion for it, come [tryout],” said Wilson. 

Lacrosse
With a season starting in January and ending in April, prospective lacrosse players should be prepared for hard work and a fun season.

“It will be fun! Hard to start with, but fun,” said Andrew Milne, one of the lacrosse coaches. 

Many returning players have high expectations for this year’s season and are excited to work with new players and coaches. 

“It’s like a re-growing year, with new coaches and many new people. I really look forward to all the new players and the returning ones. I’m excited to meet new people,” said Kathleen Mattison (‘26). 

There is optional conditioning hosted every Tuesday for people looking to prepare for the lacrosse season.

“Conditioning is about being prepared against injury. [It is crucial to] have your body in shape to safely make it through practices and games. For female athletes, that means especially being focused on protecting your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament),” said Milne.

Soccer

Kicking off in the spring, soccer is among Chamblee’s most popular sports, with competitive varsity and junior varsity teams for both men and women. Throughout the season, practices are explicitly organized for athletes’ speed and technical skills.

“Practices are daily from 3:45 to 5:30. Each practice is designed to help with technical and tactical skills. Some practices will be recovery-based, and some will be speed and agility-based,” said Coach Carley Harmieer.

For the season, Harmieer has high expectations on and off the field.

“[From athletes, I expect] hard work, positive attitudes, being a team player, and showing leadership on and off the field. I am focused on creating more of a TEAM environment,” said Harmieer. “I want to continue with another successful season. We have brought in new talent to mesh with what we already have.”

However, before the season starts, Harmieer looks to see that athletes are prepared for the intense sport.

“Make sure that if you are looking to try out, you have some previous experience. Most of the girls trying out have been playing club for years and have a lot of technical ability,” said Harmieer. “Bring a positive and encouraging attitude. Show up to each tryout day with grit and determination.”

Softball

The Chamblee women’s varsity softball team.
The Chamblee women’s junior varsity softball team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For many, softball is a sport often started during childhood, giving players the benefit of knowing the game well and having the opportunity to play at a competitive level beginning in high school.

“Playing softball at the high school level, especially in Georgia, is really competitive. You probably have to have played for most of your life to play,” said Shea Parker (‘24), softball captain. 

Strength training is an imperative part of the conditioning process, which helps get the athletes into shape and maintain their competitiveness in Georgia’s packed field. 

“For conditioning, I would focus on getting stronger. If you can hit the ball harder, it’s better; if you can just hit it out, you don’t have to run that fast. For conditioning, we lift a lot of weights but also do speed training, sprinting, and endurance training,” said Parker. 

Apart from winning, the softball team’s primary goal is keeping players in the right mindset to maintain a supportive environment. 

“Of course, we want to win, but it’s more about player development. There’s usually a lot of players on the team, which means it’s hard to get everybody in the game. We want to get the playing time spread out, emphasize learning fundamentals, and get [junior varsity players] ready when they get to the varsity team,” said John Phelps, the softball coach. 

Tennis

Taking to the court in spring, the tennis team begins preparation for a great season early. Joining the team takes skill, and there is much you can do as an athlete to prepare.

“I definitely recommend going to drills a few months before the season starts. And maybe do some conditioning, running, and agility [exercises],” said Kei Henderson (‘26).

Athletes are excited to return to the supportive environment this season.

“My teammates are definitely very friendly, and they support and cheer you on, even if it’s a tough match,” said Henderson. “It’s a very good community, and everyone’s really, really nice.”

Track

For those who like running distance, mid-distance, or sprinting, track might be the sport for you. And if you feel unprepared, the team’s coaches are more than willing to help.

“I specialize in the 400 meter, 800 meter, 1600 meter, and the 3200 meter […] Come see me, and we will get you [started with practicing],” said Hakim Felts, the distance track coach. 

Be prepared to run most of the year to stay in shape and prepare for the next season.  

“In the off-season, I encourage my athletes to run year-round, so most of my mid-distance and distance athletes run cross-country. After track season, which ends in May, we take two weeks off and then start cross-country conditioning in June. We basically train year-round,” said Felts. 

Chamblee’s track athletes face high expectations before and during the season, given the school’s history of regional championship victories.

“My expectations are always high because we train really hard to prepare for the season. So my expectation is always to win county championships and region championships, as well as state,” said Felts. “Our girls got second place in the county last year and first place in the region. That is the third time in a row we got the region.”

Practices and conditioning can vary depending on what type of track you want to specialize in, supporting all athletes and allowing them to train as they please.

“[Practices] are just as challenging [as tryouts], if not more. We do a variety of workouts, we do distance workouts, we do speed workouts, we do hill workouts, just a variety. [Conditioning this year] has been great. For distance and mid-distance, they have been going twice a week. For sprinters, they train three times a week. We have many athletes who have been coming to conditioning. So, I think it will be a great season,” said Felts.

Volleyball

The Chamblee women’s volleyball team.

There is much to say about Chamblee’s Lady Bulldogs, who recently concluded their successful season this past fall.

Lorri Reynolds, their coach, has expectations for her girls throughout the season.

“I want students to be proud of being part of [the volleyball team],” said Reynolds. “We are really successful. We have had some really good success over the years. I want people to be proud of that.”

For many, the sport can be demanding and requires intense training during and outside the season.

“The season is very intense. We usually begin playing games within the first week and don’t end until the end of October. Our practices are long and intense as well,” said Sadie Schroeder (‘24), a varsity player and captain of the volleyball team.

But, with the intense work comes great reward.

“The team is truly like a family. We put in a lot of work, which helps us bond,” said Schroeder. “We spend the entire summer conditioning and practicing to be in good shape and have good chemistry on the court by the time we start our regular season.”

For any who join the team, you should expect to make many lifelong connections.

“Volleyball is a great sport with amazing coaches and teammates. I love volleyball because I have made my best friends from our team,” said Schroeder. “Some of my best memories are going to get food after games or bus rides with the team.”

Water Polo

Water polo is an excellent sport that allows students to get in the water and play intense, yet exciting games. The season allows for special bonding with teammates and a team that connects everyone. 

“Working together with a team in a fast-paced game is super fun. I love the girl’s team; we are all good friends, and everyone has such a personality, so they keep things interesting. My favorite part about water polo is being able to spend time with my friends and grow together,” said Natalie Price (‘24).

Many enjoy the sport’s minimal size, allowing everyone to bond as a team.

“I like that it’s not a sport everyone plays. It makes a great community,” said Price. 

For many students, water polo feeds into the swim season, allowing them to condition for swimming and other sports. 

“During the off-season, we have a lot of our swimmers doing water polo, which is great conditioning for swimming,” said swim coach Greg Valley.

There are many applicable positions for water polo.

“I’m more of a wing player, meaning I do a bit more swimming and stay to the sides,” said Price. 

The most memorable parts include all the support surrounding the team and the games.

“[I enjoy] going to the meets and playing with my friends, seeing them do better,” said Price. 

Overall, sports are a great opportunity to get in shape and branch outside of your comfort zone for new and returning athletes. Sports are a sure way to stay fit, so be well-prepared for the upcoming spring season. Go Bulldogs!

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About the Contributors
Addison Lyons
Addison Lyons, Staff Writer
Addison Lyons (‘26) is a sophomore and a Staff Writer of the Blue & Gold. In five years, she hopes to be in college studying for a medical degree. Her three favorite things are Taylor Swift, watching scary movies, and reading.
Amalee McWaters
Amalee McWaters, Staff Writer
Amalee McWaters (‘26) is a sophomore and Staff Writer of the Blue & Gold. In five years, she sees herself studying journalism at university in Austria. Her three favorite things are music, fashion, and journalism.
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    Siddhanth HoreJan 21, 2024 at 7:12 pm

    I love all the teams and the people. They put in so much hard work within themselves and for the school. Looks like I’m the first person to ever write such a nice comment to you all.
    Go Chamblee Bulldogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply