Homecoming Hopes Fall Flat

Matthew Welsh, Staff writer

The air was crisp, the lights were bright, and the drums rumbled last Friday, a picture-perfect night for October football. After a four week hiatus, North DeKalb Stadium once again played host to a Chamblee Charter High School football game. But last week’s game was a little more than just a game.

Chamblee’s homecoming festivities, including hallway decorations, powderpuff matchups, and dress-up theme days, had welled for four days, and Friday night was the pinnacle of the excitement — or so we had hoped.

The Bulldogs looked to right the ship after dropping several arduous road games to see their record drop to 0-7. But standing between them and Chamblee’s first homecoming victory in three years were the Lithonia Bulldogs.

In a game that many expected to be a close contest, Lithonia opened the scoring early in the first quarter, methodically pushing the ball down the field and finishing their drive with a run for six points.

In contrast, Chamblee saw its offensive aridity and defensive disconnectedness, both trends that have plagued the team for much of the season, play a large role throughout the game. The team consistently struggled to sustain any offensive threat, rarely strung together multiple first downs, and had a hard time controlling the run game. The Chamblee players retreated to the locker room with zero points on the board, while Lithonia had scored three times.

The halftime hoopla was a brief reprieve from the on-field performance, and cheers rained down as members of the homecoming court sauntered down the 50 yard line, waving to the crowd. Poised in front of parents and students alike, the contestants awaited their fates. Then the announcement came, the queen was crowned, and the stands erupted in applause. Unfortunately, the remainder of the game did not exhibit as joyous an atmosphere as the crowning ceremony.

The tables never turned for Chamblee and their offensive fortunes, and they finished the game with zero points. Lithonia retained a sizeable lead throughout the game, continuing to rack up scores until the final whistle blew at 42-0. The show may have been stolen at homecoming, but Chamblee must move on to this week’s in-region matchup against the 4-3 Arabia Mountain Rams.