Family, faith and football mean a lot to a man that does the work of four men. Courtney Gambrell leads worship at a couple of Tucson, Arizona churches on Sunday. He has a job that keeps him busy, a lot.
He is the Head Coach of the Tucson Desert Demons of the Arizona Football League AzFL. A league for 18 and older players. He led them to a National Championship in 2015 and to the State Championship on the field at Cienega High School in 2016.
But that is just his side, side, side off duty job.
He lives for the kids. The flag team Showtime on which his nephew Tajohn Cook and son Kamden Gambrell play. (pictured together with coach) They just took third in a large Phoenix tournament. Wait, there is more, later this month they travel to Las Vegas for a National Tourney.
Right, he can sleep later, when he is retired. In about 40 years. You see, as long as their are sons, nephews, nieces, daughters, grand kids and neighbors children that need him. He will be on a field somewhere and you will be sure he asks them all one question.
"How you'all feel"
I was blessed to be invited out to watch his team Showtime in action on a recent weekend. When I arrived I was surprised to see that his squad was mostly 7th graders. The opponents, mostly taller ninth grade players. Showtime finished third. A good performance.
Not one time did I hear a single Showtime player complain about anything. All I know is that each one came to play, all out, every down.
The tournament I attended was a large one. Courtney was not alone. His coaching staff Harold Coleman, Jerry Denson, Kenneth Smith, Tim Johnson and Seth Elden were all teaching, coaching and encouraging the boys.
Now you know a little about Showtime the flag team. He also won a National Title with his youth tackle teams the Falcons. Once in 2009 (16-0) with his oldest son William Gambrell Jr. Then again in 2012 with his youngest Kamden Gambrell.
William "Bubba Chuck" Gambrell Jr. is now a junior at the University of Arizona with a 3.7 gpa and working for a career in Anesthesiology. Kamden, well, he is enjoying being a kid and playing football with family, friends and for his dad.
In a crazy world, nothing keeps you believing that it will be all right like family. For Courtney he has many families now. At church in football, flag, youth tackle, the AzFL.
He is a man that lives his faith out loud. Walks the talk he believes in. Apologizes when he needs to. Challenges what he must. He can make a man or child shrink with a look or a word. But at the end of it all everyone knows he is going to ask with a smile.
"How you'all Feel"
When I hear that I always feel blessed.
Defending State Champs Tucson Demons
The off season for football players is the toughest time of all. No matter how your squad finished, you still have something to prove.
The champs from 2016 are back. The Tucson Demons won it all last seaon. Will they be ready for the challenge from the team they beat the Tempe Predators? Then you have their rivals from Scottsdale, the Crusaders waiting for their shot at a championship.
In all nine teams are getting ready for the Race for Gold in this the 23rd season for the Arizona Football League. The CRU, Preds along with the West Valley Head Hunters have been in some title games. They won some and lost some. Each believes this is their year.
Throw in the Cave Creek Dragons, East Valley Vengeance, Peoria Raiders, Prescott Valley Patriots and the Tucson Punishers to make it interesting. They all want a piece of the pie.
Each team has added new players, coaches and taken a hard core attitude in their off season preparation. I for one cannot wait. To learn about each team, visit our team link at the top of the page.