The Port Arthur News
Shining a light on the rich tradition of the Lamar football
program, the Southland Conference released its 1970s All-Decade Team Wednesday
which included six former Cardinals – Leon Babineaux (DL – 1973-74), Joe
Bowser (SE – 1972-73), Rondy Colbert (DB – 1972-74), Gary Crockett (DL –
1969-71), Donnie Davis (DL – 1974 & 1976) and Victor Enard (OL – 1977-79).
Lamar’s six selections are in addition to a Southland-best 10 players named to
the conference 1960s All-Decade Team. Three of the six — Babineaux (Hebert), Bowser (Charlton-Pollard and Enard (Orange Stark) played at area high schools before signing with Lamar.
The all-decade teams come as part of the Southland’s year-long celebration of
its 50th Anniversary. The All-Decade teams include stars from its member
institutions from 1970 through 1979.
“One can certainly look at the 1970s as a golden era of Southland Conference
football,” said SLC Commissioner Tom Burnett. “It’s definitely difficult
to find a more concentrated period of individual and team success for the
conference when you look at the national championships won by the Southland
during this stretch, the startup of the Independence Bowl, and the great number
of professional players produced by the league.”
Colbert was a three-time All-Southland selection who continued his playing
career at the next level, spending three seasons in the NFL. He was a 17th-round
draft choice of the New York Giants, and also played for the St. Louis
Also a three-time All-SLC selection, Crockett wrapped up his career at the
beginning of the decade and was a 14th-round selection of the Houston Oilers in
Babineaux was a two-year letterwinner who earned all-conference honors both
seasons as a member of the Cardinals defensive line. Bowser was an All-Southland
selection following the 1972 season. Bowser closed out his career as a two-time
Davis helped the Cardinals to an 8-2 (.800) record during the 1974 season. A
two-time All-Southland selection, Davis concluded his career in 1976 after
having sat out the 1975 campaign.
Enard was the last Lamar player of the decade to be named to the team, earning
letters during the 1977, ’78 and ’79 seasons. Like Crockett, Enard was also
a three-time all-conference selection. Enard graduated as one of the school’s
all-time best offensive lineman.
Also named to the All-70s team was Beaumonter Cliff Odom. Odom, who played at Beaumont French, signed with Texas-Arlington and became a standout linebacker who spent 13 years in the NFL with the Browns, Colts and Dolphins.
Louisiana Tech dominated the individual awards, with Maxie Lambright being named Coach of the Decade and defensive end Fred Dean chosen Player of the Decade. Dean spent 11 years in the NFL with the Chargers and 49ers and was named the NFC Player of the Year in 1981.