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Where are they Now: James Chambliss

Where are they now: James Chambliss
By Joe Joe Wright

For many many years people in Cordele might recall a tall muscular man working as a mechanic at Hurt Motor Company. Some of us know the whole story and now you will too.
Born James Edward Chambliss aka “Jamie “ to most of us he was also a football player. Jamie began to shine on the grid iron when we got to high school. His pure athletic talent was nothing short of astounding. Jamie also ran track and did the high jump for which he got to go to State and compete. Football was however his sport. Jamie played safety for the Cougars during the glory days of 1980-81. As a Senior he was asked to take on the fullback slot when our starting back went down to injury. Jamie made the adjustment in stride playing both ways for two thirds of the season. Jamie was an all region player for Crisp County as well as an all state nominee and an All star nominee. For all the history buffs out there, it was Jamie who was pulled out of the game to rest when the Cougars fumbled inside the 5 yard line with a minute to go and a trip to the State Championship in the balance. The coaches felt they had road Jamie hard enough but according to Jamie, “ I still had plenty left in me. A pure example of the old adage coulda, shoulda, woulda. Several division 1 colleges courted Jamie including Georgia, Auburn, Florida State and South Carolina but it was the relationship developed with the South Carolina recruiter that won Jamie over and he signed with Gamecocks.
No matter what Coach Henry or Coach Cox asked Jamie to do he did it with a smile and hustle. As I teammate of Jamie’s I can attest to the fact that he was a team player and that his on personal accolades meant really nothing to him. Jamie is a pure example of a homegrown cornbread fed pure athlete, a true son of “Crisp County”. From his teen years till today he has always been a good citizen, one that works for the betterment of our community.” Jamie was just a great guy to coach,” said Coach Ferrell Henry. “ He was a true leader on the team that always practiced hard and did what was asked of him.” Jamie like Hershel Walker wanted to go into the military but with offers on the table from college he was convinced other wise.
Jamie went off to college and stayed there for 3 years. Suddenly in a game against Notre Dame Jamie came into make a tackle and on the lick he pinched a nerve. Actually Jamie thought at first he had broke it given the pain he felt but his spine had been moved for sure. As Jamie went through extensive rehab a light came on in his head. If you are going to play football and be the best you might get seriously hurt as in a permanent way. Jamie after much prayer and discussion walked away from college football never to return. After 3 years at South Carolina Jamie returned home entered South Georgia Tech and became a mechanic like his father. Jamie went to work with Hurt Motor Company and stayed 20 years till their closing. Today Jamie is self employed in the automotive interiors business. Jamie is married to the former Kathy Kearse of Allendale, SC. Jamie has one daughter Desarae Stills and one grandson Daniel of Orlando, Fla. When the history of the Crisp County Cougars is written one day, there will be a chapter that says “Great Cougar Athletes” and under the “C” section will be a picture of my friend “the Great Jamie Chambliss.” His epitaph will read, “he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother,” for Jamie could certainly tote us all when he had to.