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                        Over the years, Keith Jackson has made a lot of good memories...
Courtesy: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Anthony Chambers, former head coach at LR McClellan High Shcool Courtesy: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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Over the years, Keith Jackson has made a lot of good memories with his friend Anthony Chambers.

When they were kids growing up in south Little Rock near Roosevelt street in the 1970s, they’d often walk a couple miles to LR Central’s stadium to sneak into Tiger football games.  In little league football, Chambers was always one of the players who was quick to offer help to teammates and take leadership responsibilities,” said Jackson, former NFL player and head of Little Rock’s Positive Atmosphere Reaches Kids organization.

The good times kept rolling when as teenagers Jackson and Chambers – a 5-11 fullback – teamed up on powerful Parkview Patriot football teams. Along with the likes of Rickey Williams (another childhood friend), Bill Ingram and James Rouse, they formed one of the talent-laden teams of the modern era in 1983.

Throughout the regular season and the first three games of the playoffs, those Patriots did not win a game by less than 12 points. They were upset by fourth-seed Fort Smith Southside 9-6 in the AAAA Finals.

Jackson attended the University of Oklahoma, where he became an All-American tight end. Chambers, like Ingram, Williams and Rouse, became Razorbacks. Chambers added depth at fullback on some of Ken Hatfield’s powerful flexbone/wishbone offenses. He practiced with and against the likes of Barry Foster, JuJu Harshaw and Joe Johnson (no, not that Joe Johnson) and graduated in spring 1989 with a degree in industrial education.

By 2003, Chambers had parlayed that degree into a job as head football coach at McClellan High School. Through the next nine years, he, like so many other LRSD head coaches – was on the front lines of trying to bring the glory back to football in the metro area.

From 2006 through 2011, Chambers averaged one win a season. On August 24, 2012, a week before the season opener, Chambers resigned, citing differences with school administration, according to Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Two days later this happened, as reported by this Fox16.com account:.

One person is dead and several others injured following an accident early Sunday morning…

The accident report identifies the fatality as 50 year old Timothy Hester of Little Rock, who was in the rear passenger-side seat of the vehicle. 45 year old Ricky Franklin, of Little Rock, who was also in the rear passenger seat, was seriously injured. Three other people were also injured in the one vehicle accident….

Pulaski County investigators say the driver of the 2005 Mustang convertible, 48 year old Anthony Chambers of Little Rock, apparently lost control and slammed into a power pole, just before 4:00 a.m. The accident report indicates that Chambers admitting to drinking prior to the accident and told the investigating officer his last drink was just before the accident happened.

“He’s a really good guy, one of my good friends – I will say that – and always has been, who made a horrible mistake,” Keith Jackson said.  “It’s just one incident. It doesn’t define who you are. He’s helped a lot of kids and he loves being a coach. It’s his calling. ”

For now, that calling is on ice. Chamber still teaches at McClellan, which was 3-7 last season, but has legal issues to deal with.

In early May, 2013, he was arrested on charges of negligent homicide and first degree battery, according to court documents. His arraignment and plea is scheduled for Tuesday, September 24, 2013.

Jackson emphasized his friend’s mistake doesn’t reflect the kind of person he is.

“It’s one of those deals where he’s trying to get his life right and make sure he’s on the right page… He’s gonna get back in it. It’s just when he’s gonna start coaching again.”

 

For more on the decline of LRSD football, check out my feature article in this week’s issue of Sync.

And, for the sake of old times, here’s a recap of Parkview’s 1983 season:
LR PARKVIEW (12-1) 
LR Central …………………….38-7

West Memphis ………………32-6

Blytheville ……………………..31-6

NLR Northeast ……………..39-12

Pine Bluff ………………………30-8

LR Catholic ……………………35-7

LR Hall ………………………….36-6

LR McClellan …………………21-6

LR Mills ………………………43-13

PLAYOFFS
El Dorado ………………………41-7

Blytheville ……………………..26-6

Springdale …………………….19-7

FS Southside ……………..9-6 (L)

“Beat seven teams that finished with a winning record, including AAAA-North champion Little Rock Central and AAAA-West champion Springdale. … Junior tailback James Rouse rushed for 1,910 yards, a single-season school record. … Averaged 350 total yards per game during the first 13 weeks. … Rouse, senior nose guard Rickey Williams and senior fullback Anthony Chambers, now Little Rock McClellan’s football coach, would sign with Arkansas. … Senior tight end Keith Jackson signed with Oklahoma.”source Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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