Coach Speak with West Point Head Coach Chris Chambless

Collin Brister
Sports Writer

Daily Times Leader sports reporter Collin Brister talked with West Point head coach Chris Chambless after the Green Wave’s 20-17 victory over Clarksdale.
On the victory
Chambless: “We knew it was going to be close, and that it was going to be a tough one. Clarksdale has a really good football team, and any time you play in Clarksdale it’s tough. We just kept grinding and overcame some adversity, and we’re able to push through it. “
On handling the environment at Clarksdale.
Chambless: “I think we handled it pretty well. Clarksdale had a lot of people there. It was their homecoming. They had tailgating. They probably had 5,000 fans. They were pumped up and loud. We had some fans that stood behind us and kept our kids up. Our kids fed off of each other. We were able to do some things. Our defense stepped up big on some fourth downs. We just played hard and played together, even though that environment is a tough place to play in for the away team.”
On where he sees he team.
Chambless: “We’re getting better. We’re practicing really well. When you practice really well, you know that your kids are really focused and are putting a lot into it. As long as our kids are doing that, we’re always going to have a chance. One of the things that I’m most proud of is being able to overcome mistakes and penalties. We overcame the little things that you knew we’d get when we came up here. To be able to fight through that and still win the game, that’s huge.
On the special teams’ performance.
Chambless: “We did well. We missed a field goal, but we didn’t get anything blocked. We had great protection on punts and we were able to get some good punts off. We allowed a kickoff return deep into our territory, but we stepped on defense and held them to a field goal.”
On the remaining schedule
Chambless: “It’s our homecoming. We’ve always been emotional here since I’ve been here. We have tough games week in and week out. We have an ex on our back. Everybody wants to beat West Point. We are a lot of team’s super bowl for these teams in district play. Teams can make a statement by beating us. They’re going to give us a best shot. We’ve got to whether the storm and keep playing and keep practicing hard.
On the defense’s performance
Chambless: “We had guys step up and make plays. They scored on a go-route on us where they got behind us. We’ve played well in the secondary all year. That type thing is going to happen. Sometimes teams are just going to make plays on you. They gashed us in the first half with some inside zone, but we kept fighting and kept going. They had some big backs, but we stepped up when we needed to and made those plays.”