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Chambers bolsters peewee athletics

Running a peewee athletics club would frustrate the world’s most patient men. Not Heath Chambers.

As the Maplesville Peewee Athletics president, he keeps the children at the top of the list of priorities. The quality of their experience is of the utmost importance, so whatever stress it brings simply comes with the territory.

Like any human being dedicating himself to long hours of volunteer work, he sometimes asks if it is worth the time and effort. The Selma native works full-time over operations at C&S Canopy, where he oversees the safety of employees.

But as seconds pass, he realizes it absolutely is worth every second.

“Bottom line is you look at your kids, and if you want your kids to have something to do, you have to find time to help them out,” Chambers said. “We get away from that as parents sometimes.”

He said these days parents are often satisfied with their children staying inside to watch television and play video games instead of engaging in something outdoors in the fresh air.

“We forget about how we used to do things when we were coming up,” he said. “We were always outside playing, finding something to do.”

So long as the kids enjoy what they’re doing on the field, the experience reinforces precisely why he and the organization’s other board members continue their efforts.

Chambers has lived in Maplesville now for 37 years, where he is married to Mary Chambers and father to Noah, 10, and Hannah, 7. Both children participate in peewee athletics.

He’s the son of Bobby and Sandra Chambers and brother of Keith. Growing up, he assisted with his family’s peach stand, Lawley’s Chilton County Peaches, owned by E.L. Buddy Lawley. He attended Pleasant Grove Baptist Church and Maplesville Baptist Church before settling with Ebenezer Baptist Church in Stanton.

With a full-time job and family, it’s hard for Chambers to find time to run the peewee athletics organization, so he devotes that time entirely to the weekends. Over and over, he will proudly acknowledge his wife, Mary, as his primary source for support and understanding. The 16 board members who all believe in the cause don’t hurt either.

The organization offers baseball, softball, football and cheerleading, covering ages up to 12 years old.

Currently, they’re planning for the next football season. They began accepting registration last Saturday at Maplesville Community Park. Football has four teams while baseball usually sees 10-13.

Chambers first got involved by helping coach his son’s baseball team when Noah was only 5 years old. Not too long after, board members approached Chambers and asked him if he was willing to volunteer his time to the program. This is his third year as president and sixth as a volunteer. His son plays baseball and football while his daughter plays softball and cheers.

Prioritizing his time around the family on weekends, he and other volunteers prepare the fields week to week for play as well as during the off-season. The program also buys all equipment and is able to do so thanks to registration fees and concession sales.

Chambers said he’s been able to keep registration fees reasonable without increasing the price. He’s also constantly on the lookout for any new volunteers.

His three-year term will run out this year, and he doesn’t know to what capacity he’ll be involved from now on.

He just knows the Maplesville Peewee Athletics program is important to his community and will happily contribute however he can so long as children stay active.

“It gives kids something to look forward to,” he said. “It’s something where later on in life, they can look back on it. It also gets them ready for junior high or varsity sports. Sometimes you don’t realize it, but in the long run, it’s going to help them stay out of trouble when they get older.”

As for his home of 37 years, he wouldn’t trade it in for anything. He feels it’s a perfect backdrop for what he does as a husband and father as well as coach.

“It’s a small town where you know everybody and everybody knows you,” he said. “I kind of like that. I don’t like big cities where you’re always around people you don’t know. I just like that the whole town is kind of like a family.”