Defining the Culture
Updated: Dec 4, 2022
Writer Chapman Word celebrates the ten CCS seniors who contributed to the high school football program all four years.
As the football season comes to a heartbreaking finale, a time of reflection begins. With the conclusion of Friday night’s game, a chapter in the lives of many comes to an end. Out of the 15 seniors, nine have played all four years for the Chargers. They are: Kaleb Bonastia, Javoris Havis, Devoris Havis, Zion Irving, Ethan McBride, Landon Newton, Grayson Officer, Lane Travis, and William Wall. In addition, AJ Jolly has also been a part of the program for all of his high school experience, two years as a player and the last two as a team manager and assistant. These ten represent the heart and soul of the Chattanooga Christian Football program. Over the past four years they have been through experiences and circumstances that none of them could have imagined when they first stepped foot on David Stanton Field as freshmen. Although some of these young men may not receive the same level of recognition or praise as their peers, they are all deserving of the same level of respect and admiration.
Three of the nine veterans play on the offensive line, positions that are simultaneously among the most vital and least appreciated. At the core of the line is center William Wall who has played varsity all four years of high school and has started at center for the past three seasons. After a solid sophomore year providing superb blocking for the CCS offense, William ended up tearing his meniscus during the preseason jamboree before the start of his junior season. Despite this unfortunate happenstance, his determination and attitude were not dampened at all. He fought his way through rehab with his trademark smile and returned in time for the final few games of the season. When asked which moment he believes truly embodies Charger football he responded with a few. “Either running out with the little kids this year before a game or junior year Webb game or sophomore year Boyd game.” Another vital member of the offensive line is Grayson Officer, a third year starter at offensive guard. Although the position was not his first choice, his speed and physicality made it near impossible for coaches to move him somewhere else. After suffering an ACL tear while playing against South Pittsburgh earlier this year, Grayson never let it keep him from supporting his teammates. Between showing up to practice even though he didn’t have to or taking the trip all the way to Memphis to cheer on the team against Harding Academy, he was always there. When asked about one of his most important memories from his career he even responded that the injury made the top three. The final piece of the group is offensive tackle Kaleb Bonastia, also a three year starter. Kaleb served with Grayson as the lightning fast hinge that created gaps for the Chargers’ running backs. He also has found himself a niche playing on the defensive line and even scored on a fifty yard interception return against Franklin Road Academy. To everyone who has had the pleasure of meeting him, Kaleb is one of the nicest and most humble people they know and has been an indispensable motivator for the team.
Equally important are the four defensive leaders. It is through their dedication and skill that the Chargers were able to outscore their opponents 518-192. All of these men have made huge impacts on the outcome of the season. Of these, Landon Newton is the anchor of the defense. He has played varsity linebacker for three of his four seasons and been the primary starter for two of them. One notable accomplishment is his junior year when he broke the school record for tackles. He has perfected his craft to the point where he was allowed to play only defense instead of having a position on both sides like the rest of the team. As his immensely worn and chipped helmet shows, Landon is not afraid to be physical no matter what. Next on the list is Zion Irving, a do it all outside linebacker whose hard working spirit applies to both the field and the classroom. Through his four years on varsity he has brought an incredible physical presence to both sides of the ball. He is universally admired for his humble and devoted character. Another player who is renowned for his pairing of devastating defensive play and humility is Devoris Havis. Devoris is the definition of a physical player and his highlights as a defensive lineman are testament to it. His ability to care for those around him and be merciless to those who stand between him and the ball present a truly unique dichotomy that has led to praise both on and off the field. Finally there is the jack of all trades, Lane Travis. Lane was the starting quarterback for Chattanooga Christian for most of the 2021 season and helped lead the team to the playoffs. However this changed for his senior year and he switched to safety in addition to being both the kicker and the punter for the Chargers. Lane has made some impressive plays this season including multiple game impacting interceptions. Together all four of these young men gave their all for the team and are deserving of admiration for such.
Last but not least we have the two dynamic offensive players who made it their mission to find the endzone as much as they could. As the first half of the cliche goes, offense wins games and these two define both the hard work and explosiveness of the CCS offense. First off is Javoris Havis, the leading playmaker for the team in the last games of the season. His larger than life personality has been a distinguishing factor of his four years as an offensive star. When Javoris scores a touchdown it is more often than not an attention grabbing and spectacular fashion. All of this has led to him racking up multiple college offers. Next is Ethan McBride, one of the most agile and dedicated players on the team. Ethan has played varsity for the past two years and has proven himself as an exemplary team player. Although he may not get the glory or fame as his other teammates, you will be hard pressed to find an athlete who works harder to prove himself than Ethan. He has stuck with the team through everything and never let his shortcomings define him. He is in all things a true representation of the central values of CCS athletics.
With all of that being said, if you see any of these amazing young men be sure to give them thanks for their dedication to the sport we all enjoy watching. For many they just played their last game of football, for others, their future is undecided. Therefore it is a necessity to remember them and all of their sacrifices for the sport they love. Even though some of them may get more attention than others, all ten contributed an equally vital role to the successes of the program and are all deserving of great commendation. Despite the turbulence of the past four years, they have truly defined what it means to be a Chattanooga Christian School Charger.