When Mary Beth Chambers became the head coach at St.Rose. Little did she know, she walking into the toughest job in the state. A program loaded with talent and two previous successful coaches before her, both who left after winning SCT TITLES. That should have been a signal to Mary Beth Chambers. But sometimes you have to see things for yourself. Mary Beth Chambers has seen a lot in the past three years and has now put the past behind her. But it has not been easy.
Mary Beth Chambers is one of the most well respected coaches in girls basketball circles. Her coaching talent and knowledge are undeniable. While many talk about being offered college coaching jobs. Mary Beth Chambers has been offered multiple jobs at the highest level. It’s goes to the respect, college coaches have for her ability. She is a master teacher both on and off the court. She is the best shooting coach these eyes has ever seen. Please don’t argue with me. Because unlike you, I have SEEN THEM ALL. But above all that, Mary Beth Chambers is a nurturing mother and educator first. She is the G.O.A.T of girls AAU basketball. Her track record of success has no match. She has sent more kids off to college than anyone. She is known for developing players and more importantly teaching kids how to play team basketball, without taking away a kids imagination and basketball identity. She coached the greatest and best AAU TEAM in shore history.. her CJ HAWKS TEAM. A team whose entire roster went on to BE SUPERSTARS AT THE D1 level. She didn’t steal players, she developed these players from a early age. It’s why her word to college coaches carries more weight than any other AAU coach.. THAT’S A FACT, take it from somebody who knows. When Coach Chambers give her stamp of approval coaches act!
When Mary Beth Chambers decided to get back into high school coaching. She had been offered another plum job before St. Rose. But once Joe Whalen left it was clear Mary Beth Chambers would take the head coaching job at St.Rose. You see Mary Beth Chambers bleeds PURPLE ROSES. She and her twin sister won a state title and Shore Championship together at St. ROSE. They are one of two mother/daughters to do so . Her daughter Kasey won a SCT and Shore Championship at St. Rose as well( (Sam Clarke and Barbara Clarke are the other pair). She has been connected to the school her entire life. It’s where her heart and soul is at. But when she took over the job at St.Rose it was no longer the program it was when her daughter and she played. It was a different place.
I sat with Mary Beth Chambers when she took over the St. Rose program. I was honest with her. I told her the program had lost its way. I told her it was by far the toughest job in the entire state. I told her the parents had hijacked the program. I told her she had selfish kids, but talented kids, but that the atmosphere had created some disinterested kids who didn’t feel part of the team. It did not faze her or she didn’t believe me. I told her there were bad actors surrounding the program. I brought up that two highly successful coaches had quit. But Coach Chambers loves St. Rose and truly believed her style of coaching would be embraced by all. She believed once the kids realized she truly cared about them, they would grow to love each other and the school, the way she did. The way her daughter did. The way almost every kid in past years did. It was then I knew, Mary Beth Chambers had no idea what she was stepping into. She had no idea she was facing the biggest challenge of her athletic and coaching career.
It didn’t take long for Mary Beth Chambers to realize she was in a war zone. A fight for the soul of not just a basketball team but the entire program. When she was hired, she was Immediately suspended for a rule she did not break. A rule nobody had ever heard of in the past. A rule it turns out almost every single high school coach in the state unknowingly broke. The rule was changed the same year Mary Beth Chambers was forced to sit out. It was a great example of common sense gone bad. Worst nobody got Coach Chambers back. She was did not break a single, rule yet it was she that paid the price. She was crushed but it was the first glimpse into the bad actors within and surrounding her program. It was a reality check into what she had walked into. She had restrictions placed on her no coach would agree too. Mary Beth Chambers is a major stickler for rules. So it hurt her deeply when she was wrongly accused of breaking rules. I told her “YOU SHOULD QUIT” and her next words are why I love Mary Beth Chambers, she said “Tiny, that’s exactly what everyone else has done to these kids, I’m not quitting” the anger in her voice went to exactly the type person Coach Chambers is, somebody who thinks about others not herself. Not her daughters or sons. She is 100% about teaching and standing by kids. Helping them grow. For Mary Beth Chambers coaching is way more than just winning games. She wanted to teach her kids and the St. Rose community, that you can do BOTH!
In her first year coaching St. Rose, Mary Beth Chambers discovered what many told her. St. Rose is no walk in the park. Her roster was filled with a group of unsatisfied players. Players who felt they deserved more. Players who felt they didn’t get there fair shake or respect in the past. She had a super talented team. They were hard workers and wanted to win. But many had been treated like forgotten toys in the past. This led to “the Disease of “I“.. she had a team that was selfish and concerned with themselves first. It was something new to Mary Beth Chambers. Her teams had always been known for playing team basketball. Respecting each other and opponents as well. The program she inherited knew nothing of these qualities She knew her job would not be easy the moment she met her team. It didn’t help that her parents were out of control. They had chased two coaches out already and were clearly working on a third….HER. It was an explosive situation, that ended with a disappointing award night dinner. It ended a year in which coach Chambers saw her best friend in life pass away. It is a season that Coach Chambers and others I am sure would like to forget.
At a time that should’ve been about St. Rose celebrating finally playing a real competitive schedule like in the good ole days. Because Coach Chambers put together one of the toughest schedules in the state. The better the opponent the happier she was. But more than anything, she wanted her team to play against top teams at home. She wanted big crowds in the gym for her seniors and that’s exactly what she did. St. Rose won the NON PUBLIC A STATE TITLE..PLAYED IN THE SCT and TOC SEMI FINALS... WATCHED PLAYERS GETTING SCHOLARSHIPS… EVERY SENIOR WENT OFF TO COLLEGE BASKETBALL and a group of young ladies grew together. Yet ome were still not happy. But again Coach Chambers would not give up on her kids or St Rose. She knew the school and her kids were different. She wanted to prove this journey was bigger that wins and losses. She wanted everyone around her program to experience what she did.. what her daughter did and what so many others did… she wanted to show, what makes St. Rose different from other places… Like the life long relationships created during happy times together.
Last year I told Coach Chambers, “many kids are afraid to attend St.Rose, there scared your parents are a issue.” She told me she didn’t care. Her daughter Kasey had joined her coaching staff and she thought many of the bad actors had left her program.. She felt she had survived the worst. She in her words said “I have a nice group of girls” she felt she could help them become better teammates and players. Coach Chambers was excited and then it started to happen. First she called me and asked did I knew Brynn Farrell? I told her “no” but heard she was a great player. She said that she heard that Farrell had registered for school. I told her to just call the parents. She refused out of fear she would be accused of recruiting. This on top of Makayla Andrews transferring the year before.
Finally Niaisya Erving left a closing St. Pats. Mary Beth Chambers so being accused by the very same bad actors still surrounding her program of recruiting. It was disgraceful in every way. I knew Andrews and Erving were off to St. Rose long before Mary Beth Chambers, ever said boo to them. Both are in my program and close to me. Both come from 1st class families. They had heard the stories about St. Rose parents. So they kept it quiet to all, including to coach Chambers. I never told Coach Chambers either was coming. But here were outsiders doing all they could to upset her program. Next can the letters to the school and state. The lies and untruths and more importantly the attack on her reputation. Coach Chambers was at a breaking point. She thought it was going to be her program finally with no drama after two years but no so luck was with her or she thought.
Now here she was, once again facing bold face lies about she and her program. But this time Mary Beth Chambers got support. As she says “I have the best principle in the state” because the St. Rose administration was tired of there coach being held hostage and harassed. The bullies had gone to far, crossed a bridge a bridge too far. So the St. Rose administration stood behind their coach. They told the state our coach is above such behavior. They made it known to everyone Coach Chambers is our coach and the right Coach for St. Rose. Nobody is saying it was a easy road last year. But St. Rose won another state title. Every single senior again went off to college basketball. Brynn Farrell and Makayla Andrews were Coach Chambers two greatest examples of kids can change. They became not just basketball superstars but grew up as people. They became not good teammates but great teammates. Last year kids started to think maybe St. Rose is a great place again
This year St. Rose is suppose to be in a full rebuilding mode. But somebody better tell Mary Beth Chambers, because she has never been more excited about a team. Finally she starts a year with no drama. Her superstar point guard has signed at Lafayette university. Abby Antognoli clearly has taken over the leadership role in grand fashion. If the fall is any indication of what to expect, Abby just may be the best thing to happen on and off the court for St. Rose in a long time. Mo Stapleton the most underrated player to wear a St.Rose uniform in a decade and is off to Stonehill College. She looks like an award winning season is on the way. It almost impossible not to root a little harder for Stapleton. Niaisya Ervin looks like a different player these days. The St. Rose program looks like a different program. It’s looks like the program of yester years gone by. They look like a team and more importantly a Mary Beth Chambers team. The parents have seen the light. They no longer are the #1topic of conversations. The topic these days is how good can St.Rose be this season. I say good enough to beat anyone on any given night. I also say … ST. ROSE… the REAL ST. ROSE IS BACK and I for one am happy. Because a healthy ST.ROSE is great for Shore girls basketball👏👏👏👏🙏🏀…good luck this year because I for one I’m rooting for you…YOU DESERVE IT!
TODAY’S TRAINING…AFTER SCHOOL SHOOTING FOR THOSE SIGNED UP FOR … POINT GUARD SCHOOL AT 4.30