“Ice-Out” Suffers Meltdown in 37-0 Rivalry Game Loss


Photo by Ashley Veazey.

The Chamblee Student Section gets excited at Friday’s game.

James Hardy, Editor

After winning the battle of the spikes on the volleyball court last week, Chamblee Charter High School hoped to ride its momentum into a win in the 22nd annual “Battle for the Golden Spike” against local rival Dunwoody. Unfortunately, the Wildcats brought their student government-sponsored “#chambleehateweek” to an end with a resounding 37-0 win over the Bulldogs for their 6th straight rivalry game victory.

Leading up to Friday night, tensions continued to rise. Chamblee’s first pep rally, where an appearance by the Dunwoody Wildcat provoked a visceral response from the crowd. Student Government Association sponsor Mattie Kaspar, who organized the event, believed that the new addition was just harmless fun.

“I think it’s just like friendly and funny,” said Kaspar. “It’s just a tradition. I don’t think there’s really any true animosity about individual student-athletes or anything. It’s just a fabricated thing that we can have fun with. That’s it.”

Nevertheless, Chamblee students, leaving the gym incensed with anti-Dunwoody fervor, went the whole nine yards to “ice out” the Wildcats in the name of tradition. Signs were made, stomachs were painted and flecks of glitter were everywhere. CCHS students were ready to show Dunwoody what real cold felt like. 

Unfortunately, the Wildcats came in hot during the first half, racking up 21 points while shutting down the Bulldogs’ offense. After throwing a pick in the first drive, Chamblee quarterback Finn Allers tried to turn things around, making solid drives into Dunwoody territory, but couldn’t seem to push through for a touchdown. 

The Bulldogs’ defense, also having had a shaky start to the game, began to heat up in the second half, allowing five less points than the first. Chamblee students stayed in the stands until the bitter end, when the massive Wildcats student section stormed the field to celebrate their victory.

Despite their best efforts, the Bulldogs fell to the Wildcats with a final score of 37-0, lengthening the football team’s losing streak to 21 games. However, new head coach Scott Schwarzer is not fazed. Instead, he is confident in the future of the team and ready to put an end to this yearly tradition of defeat.

We are continuing to work on changing the entire football culture,” said Schwarzer. “Our program is making great strides, and each week we want to compete, play with an effort and energy that gives us a chance to get better every game. Our effort and attitude, overall, has been great thus far, and we need to continue to work daily to become tougher mentally.”

The Bulldogs have scattered bye weeks, during which they can recover and relax without a game on Friday night. Schwarzer intends to use this extra time efficiently.

“Fortunately, we have a bye week, which will give us the chance to make corrections,” said Schwarzer. “We are very young and inexperienced at the varsity level, so having a week off is beneficial in our growth and development.”

Senior Kenny Howard, a lineman who moonlights as a fullback, feels like one of the team’s strongest aspects is unity.

“Working together as a team, getting better at positions [went well], because most of the team has never played football before, so we’re still trying to get the whole togetherness going on, [like] people learning about positions, learning to remember what to do when we call plays,” said Howard. “I feel like we did a good job with communication on [during the game].”

However, he shares Schwarzer’s readiness to get back to work, as well as the idea that the program has a ways to go, both in the players’ skills and attitudes.

I mean, definitely to work on being more aggressive,” said Howard. “Learning how to wrap up and tackle, more communication. The effort is there, we just need more intensity. We’ve still got that losing mentality [from] last year, and we’re trying to turn it around. So we’ve just got to get back, get out of that hole and figure out the groove.”

Part of achieving a positive, winner’s attitude is support from the school community. Coach Schwarzer was very happy with the school spirit that Chamblee showed in the pep rally and at the game.

“So far the Chamblee family has been great,” said Schwarzer. “They have been really positive about what we are trying to do with the culture change of the Bulldog football program. It takes time to turn a high school football program around, but the students, faculty, and community has been really supportive so far.”

The chants, signs, and overwhelming size of the student section on during the rival game contributed to a palpable supportive energy in North DeKalb Stadium, which remained throughout the game in spite of the score. However, Howard feels that some of the student body can still do better.

“We got a lot of doubters in the school because you know, they’re used to us losing,” said Howard. “They don’t know what goes on in practice, they don’t know what we’re learning, [they don’t know] how the team is, so we just want y’all to look out, because we’re going to be winning some games.”