West Point's Jake Chambless enjoys championship success with father

 West Point quarterback Jake Chambless, left, won another state championship with his father this year.
By: 
ROBBIE FAULK
Staff Writer

Chris Chambless has roamed the sidelines as the head coach of the West Point Green Wave for 12 years, won five state championships and seen great players come and go.

The coaching staff behind him has been there most of the way, but there’s one young man that’s seen it all right there with him. For years, his son Jake was a team manager and ball boy who watched players like Michael Carr, Justin Cox and Aeris Williams lead the Green Wave to big wins and championship gold. His dream was to one day do that and, little did he know, he’d accomplish more than any of those players in his high school career.

Jake won’t go down in the record books as a player who lit up the stat sheet though he threw for 1,882 yards and 18 touchdowns in his last two seasons. He will go down as one of the winningest quarterbacks in Green Wave history with three state championship rings and unprecedented 43-2 record over three seasons.

“I’ve been here longer than all the football players and coaches on this team other than my father," Jake said. "All I know is it’s a blessing to be where I’m at today. We’re just used to winning all of these (state championships). That’s the way it’s been.”

The senior quarterback has witnessed all five of his father’s state championship wins, but the first two weren’t quite as sweet as the last three. Getting a chance to play for his father was indeed challenging, but it’s something that Jake will never forget.

And if you ask him, there aren’t many people in Mississippi that are doing a better job with their football teams.

“We’ve had our ups and downs, but I love him to death," Jake said. "Sometimes he tries to be more of a father than a coach on the field. In my opinion, he’s one of the best coaches in the state.”

There were definite challenges in the relationship that father and son had over time, but offensive coordinator Brett Morgan and his staff took over early in Jake’s career to allow the head coach to step back and watch.

Over time, coach Chambless saw his young son mature into a quarterback that he could count on to lead an offense that has become as powerful as any in the state. He was never asked to throw for 300 yards a night for the Green Wave, but Jake managed things offensively as well as any could.

“Coach Morgan and all of the coaches do a good job with him. They told me to leave him alone four years ago and I did," coach Chambless said. "He probably wouldn’t have gotten the job done if I would have been coaching. I would have probably had him on the bench because he made me mad or something.”

For Chris, the pride and joy that he had coaching his son radiated post game at Southern Miss’ M.M. Roberts Stadium as the Green Wave finished off West Jones for the third-straight Class 5A State championship.

The two had their embrace on a few different occasions, but when asked to reflect on the last three years and the opportunity to coach his son, the hard-nosed coach couldn’t help but get choked up.

“He’s a good kid, number one, and I’m proud of him for that,” coach Chambless said. “Even when you butt heads with him, he always seems to come around and make a play. As a father, if I was sitting in the stands watching him, I would be just as proud of him.

“Not too many fathers get an opportunity to do this. This is special.”

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