PORT ARTHUR —
BEAUMONT – If Lamar is to enjoy the type of success that it is hoping for on
the football field this season, the offensive line is going to have to lead the
Anchoring the line will be junior center Kyle Gillam (6-1, 270) who has been on
the field for nearly every offensive snap the Cardinals have taken since
reinstating the football program for the 2010 season The Lumberton native will
be heavily relied upon by first-year position coach Dennis McKnight.
Senior Ryan Jones (6-4, 275) will serve as Gillam’s backup at center, and can
also provide depth along the line.
The right side of the offensive line has the most experience as senior Sean
Robertson (6-1, 270) is currently listed as the starter at right guard and
fellow senior Colton Collins (6-3, 310) is set to start at right tackle. Junior
Stephen Babin (6-4, 280) and sophomore Ian Kelso (6-0, 280) both have experience
and will provide depth on the right side.
Local player Justin Brock (6-5, 280) from West Brook High School will see time
at left tackles with senior Kameron Edwards (6-2, 275) returning from a redshirt
season to play the position as well. The left guard slot will be manned by
redshirt freshman Scott Utterback (6-1, 290) and junior transfer Brock Wempa
Helping with the blocking are the Cardinals’ tight ends who have the added
responsibility of route running and catching passes, as well. Four players will
vie for playing time at the tight end position with true sophomore Payden McVey
leading all LU tight ends with 17 catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns last
The other three tight ends are juniors. Jacob Hanna and P.J. Henderson are
returning for the Cardinals and Cory Soto is transferring in from Palomar
(Calif.) Community College. At 6-foot-8, 255 pounds, Soto is the largest of the
Hanna finished the 2011 season with three catches for 30 yards, and the
Lumberton product had seven catches for 82 yards and a score in Saturday’s
scrimmage. Henderson saw action in a pair of games during his sophomore
Lamar opens the season at Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. The
Cardinals’ home opener will be the following Saturday (Sept. 8) at 7 p.m. when
Prairie View A&M visits Provost Umphrey Stadium.
Lamar will host five games
following the Prairie View A&M contest. Highlights of the home schedule include
the homecoming contest against McMurray at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 and a Southland
Conference game against national runner-up Sam Houston State at 3 p.m. Oct. 27.
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