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Teen wins national video contest

(Left to right) Boyd Chambliss, Ian Rowland, Gray Chambliss
A budding filmmaker from Henrico has earned a trip to Los Angeles this summer, thanks to a passion for mountain biking, a talent for video production, a chance online discovery – and a bone-jarring bike crash provided by a friend.

Seventeen-year-old Boyd Chambliss beat out entrants from around the country to take top honors in the Quench X X-Treme Sports Video Contest with his submission of a mountain bike jump performed by his neighbor, Ian Rowland.

For about two years now, Chambliss and Rowland have been “making videos of crazy things,” as Rowland puts it.

While they occasionally visit mountain bike trails on Richmond’s Belle Isle, or head to the river near their western Henrico neighborhood, they filmed the winning video last summer in the Chambliss’ hilly back yard .

“Ian is actually the person that . . . made the video so interesting,” says Chambliss. “I pretty much knew he was going to crash, because he has never landed that jump.”

After convincing his friend to make the attempt, Chambliss filmed the adventure from ground level while his brother, Gray, shot from a perch in an overhanging tree.

“I knew the outcome was going to be bad,” says Chambliss, “when he got to the bottom of the jump. He had too little speed and wasn’t standing up.

“Sure enough he crashed – hard.”

Rowland shrugs off any concerns about the bruising he must have suffered in the crash-landing.

“I’m used to it,” he says. He and Chambliss point out that the bike took the fall worse that the rider, losing at least one reflector in the crash.

Asked why Rowland performed the jump without protective equipment, Chambliss concedes they were fortunate he wasn’t hurt, and emphasizes that skipping the helmet is a rare occurrence.

“My friends and I are actually really safe when we do anything dangerous,” he says. “We normally wear a full-face motocross helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads.

“Thankfully, he fell on his stomach and not his head.”

Rounding Up Votes
Not long after filming the crash, Chambliss was on Facebook viewing someone’s photo album when he noticed an ad.

Do you have an extreme video? read the Quench promotion.

Chambliss didn’t waste a moment applying for the contest, which called for participants to submit a brief (one minute or less) video of any sports-related activity. (A second video he submitted took third place in the nation and won him a t-shirt.)

“I’d been looking for a contest for a long time,” says Chambliss, noting that the Quench competition’s outdoorsy theme was the first to fit the subject of his videos.

Although Chambliss knew he had a good product, he also knew that submitting the videos was only the beginning of his effort to win.

The contest winners were to be chosen by public voting on the website, and he now had to enlist friends and classmates in the campaign, convince them to obtain YouTube accounts, and educate them about how to vote. Some of his would-be supporters apparently failed to follow through to the end of the voting process, and thought that viewing the video or saying they liked it was enough.

Nevertheless, Chambliss’ video topped the nationwide field with 700 views and 57 votes.

On to L.A.
A junior at The Steward School, Chambliss plans on pursuing a career in film.

“I have always loved jumping my bike and riding on trails,” he says. “Once I got my first video camera, I filmed everything.”

When he is not making films, Chambliss runs cross country and serves as manager of Steward’s varsity baseball and varsity boys basketball teams.

Brother Gray, 14, who also attends Steward, frequently joins Boyd and Rowland (a junior at Collegiate) for adventures at the river and stunts in the backyard.

Chambliss also like to film his family vacations. But although recreational events may be his favorite subject, there is nothing he takes lightly about the film process.

“I like to be serious,” says Chambliss, who has 200 videos on his own YouTube account. “I like to make [videos] as professional looking as a I can, because I’m looking to go into film.”

With a Christmas gift of a new bike, and a newly-constructed video platform in his back yard – not to mention a national title under his belt -- Chambliss seems well on his way to a film career.

What’s more, he will no doubt make helpful contacts when he and Ian and Gray travel with his father (airfare and lodging provided for all four) to the X Games this summer.

“I entered because I really thought that I had a great chance of winning,” says Chambliss. “There was no way I was going to pass up an opportunity like this.”

“Once you find something that you like, you can’t let that opportunity go by.”


Community

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There’s no excuse for kids and families to not get out of the house this weekend! The Armour House and Gardens has an “Egg-celent Egg-venture” planned and Reynolds Community College will host the Reynolds Family Palooza. If you’re looking to give back to your community, Dorey Park will host Walk Like MADD and coordinators2inc will present the annual Kids Walk for Kids. And a special event for children with special needs will be on Sunday – the Caring Bunny will be at Virginia Center Commons. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A new meaning for fried chicken

Is it heresy to say – in this bastion-of-tradition capital of the Old South – that it's time for Southern fried chicken to take a step back and make way for a new fried chicken king?

Count me among the new believers bowing to Bonchon Chicken's delectable double-fried bliss. Hand-brushed with signature garlic soy or hot sauce, flash-fried once and then again, the decadent drums and wings take "crisp" to a new level. If you're eating with a crowd and everyone bites in at once, be warned: you might need ear plugs to handle the din. > Read more.

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The Needle’s Eye Ministry luncheon series continues from 12 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. at The Place at Innsbrook. Bank of America’s Lee Mitchell, Jr. will speak on “What would it… Full text

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