Friends and foes: Chambliss and Kuhn face off tonight

Brian Hamilton
Daily Times Leader

Tonight’s matchup between the West Point Green Wave and the Grenada Chargers will be a de-facto region championship, as the Green Wave sits at 4-0 in Region 1 and Grenada comes in at 3-1.

If Grenada wins the game, it would force a three-way tie between Grenada, West Point, and Olive Branch. If West Point wins, the Region 1 crown is theirs.

The contest will reunite two familiar faces – West Point head coach Chris Chambliss and Grenada head coach James Kuhn.

Chambliss and Kuhn were both coordinators for the Green Wave in the early-2000s, as Chambliss was in charge of the defense and Kuhn the offense.

“We still keep up with one another. It’s a good friendship,” Chambliss said.

“He’s one of my best friends and our families are really close,” Kuhn said. “We come back to West Point four, five, or six times a year to see them.”

The two friends have faced one another a few times in the past, including once in the playoffs. Chambliss has yet to lose to Kuhn, but he said that the two don’t make it personal.

“We give each other a hard time and mess with one another about everything,” Chambliss said. “We’re mature enough that we’re not going to get personal.”

Kuhn said he is always excited to come back and play at West Point and it brings back good memories from his time as a coach with the Green Wave.

“I always enjoy coming back. It’s kind of like coming back home,” Kuhn said. “I worked with Chris there for eight years and I still stay in contact with some of the kids I coached there.”

Both coaches said they do not make the matchup personal and treat it like they would any other game. However, Kuhn said the two best friends have not spoken much this week.

“We talk about every week, to be honest with you, but not a whole lot during the game week,” Kuhn said.

“It’s going to be a good, physical ball game and one of us is going to win. That’s just the way it is,” Chambliss said.

Chambliss said that he has not mentioned to his team that this game will be a de-facto region championship game because he wants them to treat it like any other game.

“Even though that it is one of our goals to win the district, I don’t even want to talk to them about it right now,” Chambliss said. “We want to focus on the very last game that we can play, and that’s the state championship.”

Kuhn said that he is aware that his team could possibly win the region with a win, but he also knows what his team is up against.

“I think West Point has the best team in the state, and I don’t think there is any question about that,” Kuhn said. “Our goal is to come in and play as hard as we can and try and compete. They’re very good. We all know how good they are.”