Maplesville QB named top player (All-Area Football Team)By Stephen Dawkins Published 6:18pm Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Maplesville football coach Brent Hubbert remembers telling the seniors on the 2013 team that one of them would have the opportunity to appear in a local season preview magazine.
The seniors were left to decide which one of them would participate in the photo shoot and enjoy the recognition that came along with it.
But a close group with a common goal couldn’t decide. No one player wanted to bask in the spotlight without all the others. Eventually, Damian Mitchell’s name was drawn out of a hat.
The story illustrates the intangibles possessed by a group of seniors that earned the program’s first state championship game appearance since 1996.
Though quarterback Colby Chambers still thinks of himself as just one member of the team, it’s impossible to overlook his production.
Chambers completed 118 passes in 179 attempts in 2013 for 1,896 yards passing and 16 touchdowns, compared to only three interceptions. In his three-year career as a starter, Chambers passed for 5,207 yards and 48 touchdowns, and rushed for 994 more yards and 35 TD’s.
Maplesville compiled a 37-4 record with Chambers as its starting quarterback.
Chambers can add The Clanton Advertiser’s Football Player of the Year honor to his list of accomplishments.
Though Chambers stood out, Maplesville’s success last season was truly a team effort.
Chambers’ job was made easier by an offensive line that included all seniors. Mitchell led all Chilton County area running backs in yards gained and touchdowns, and Kendarious Bradley and Stevonta Bradley proved to be dangerous targets in the passing game.
It all added up to equal an offense that totaled the third most points in a season in Alabama High School Athletic Association history.
Of course, a defense that held opponents to eight points or less in 11 of its 15 games was no slouch, either.
The seniors had their hands on it all.
“You could sense them not wanting to give up the season,” Hubbert said about the team’s mindset as the year progressed. “More important that going to the state championship, it was, ‘Let’s make sure we spend every moment together that we can.’”
Chambers was an unquestioned leader. Beginning with his junior season, Hubbert and the MHS staff allowed the quarterback the authority to audible at the line of scrimmage, essentially calling his own plays based on what was working and how the defense was adjusting.
Chambers said the 2013 group was closer than any team he had been part of. There was little arguing, and younger players were willing to follow the lead of their more experienced teammates.
Though his time in a Maplesville uniform has passed, Chambers said he’ll still make it back for practices and games. He offered advice for the 2014 team.