LB High: East All-Stars load up at that position

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 11, 2016

BEAUMONT — Austin Moore’s and Derick Dearing’s addition to the Lamar football team helps ensure the Cardinals will not be slim at that position come preseason drills in August.

The two preferred walk-ons don’t have to wait until the Sept. 3 season opener against Coastal Carolina to make their Provost-Umphrey Stadium debuts, if they get to see action then. That’ll happen at 7 tonight when the three-day Christus All-Star Classic concludes with the annual football game.

“It’s great to be here knowing I’m going to be here a lot,” Orangefield’s Moore said.

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Moore is playing for Bobcats coach Josh Smalley and his staff one more time before he and Bridge City’s Dearing turn their attention to Lamar. For the two players, the week has given them a chance to take in the campus environment and compete among a wide pool of linebackers selected for the game.

“When they do these teams, you get these nominations from the coaches. We just happen to be real heavy at the linebacker spot, six to 10 linebackers, so we move them around,” Smalley said. “It’s a credit to those guys and what they were able to do football-wise.”

Moore also will get to play some defensive end tonight, even with just a 5-foot-10, 215-pound frame. The powerlifting season Moore had this past year, which culminated in second place in the state meet, has paid off.

“I gained 20 to 25 pounds,” he said.

Also among the linebacking corps for the East is Vincent Tran of Nederland and Steven Tims, the Willie Ray Smith Award winner as the best defensive player in Southeast Texas from West Orange-Stark. But like some All-Stars, tonight marks the end of a career for a three-time district champion.

“I don’t think my body can handle it, anymore,” said Tran, who played through sprains in both ankles this season. “I thought I can go some more, but four years of high school can do that to you.”

Unlike many All-Star games, this one will feature some highly recruited players who are signed to a college, like Nederland tight end Justin Carr (Tyler Junior College) and Silsbee quarterback Dontre Thomas (Kilgore College). The East added a third Nederland player in running back and defensive lineman Ronald Zamora since the original All-Star rosters were released.

Little Cypress-Mauriceville defensive back Drake Trawhon will do what he’s never done and join forces with his father Todd, an Orangefield defensive line coach who is helping Smalley this week. Orangefield and LCM have never played each other in the regular season during Drake’s playing days.

“Just special to pad up again and play under my dad,” the younger Trawhon said. “I never did that in high school.”

Port Arthur Memorial had two selected for the All-Star game, Fabbian Scott and Kevin Williams, but neither is playing tonight. Tran is, no matter how much more he has to give.

“It’s an honor and privilege to play for this,” he said. “I get to represent my city and my school. I think we can bring the fire just like they did. They called us. If they needed us to play, then we’re here.”

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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