LAMAR – Decobie Durant has proven himself as a playmaker for Lamar the last couple years. But now he’s changing positions, and coaches will expect him to play a bigger role.
Durant moves from wide receiver to quarterback this year. It comes with added responsibility, but that’s something he embraces.
I like that because it’s a leadership role,” he said. You’ve got to take control of the team. The coach, he put me at that position because he wants the ball in my hands.”
Still, Durant understands it will be a challenge. Lamar loses star power in quarterback Quan Brown and running back Labradford Abson. They were the brightest stars for the Silver Foxes last year, but now they’re gone.
“It’s always a concern when you’ve got to replace guys who were 50-percent of your offense whether it be running the ball, throwing the ball or catching the ball,” coach Corey Fountain said.
Lamar won’t have as much depth at the skill positions this year, but stars do remain. Running back Tre Ceasar piled up more than 1,300 total yards last year and took back four kickoffs for touchdowns. He and Durant will shoulder the load while others develop.
“So we’re just hoping these young guys, through the work that we’ve put in in passing leagues, in the weight room in the offseason strength and conditioning, that that’s going to help us succeed this year,” Fountain said.
For Fountain, who’s entering his second year as Lamar’s head coach, there’s only one way to define success – state titles. They fell a game short of the Class A Division II final last year, and that’s something the Silver Foxes have heard about in the offseason.
“You go in the community, and that’s a loss,” said Fountain, who played at Lamar. “If you lose that game, you don’t make it to state. That’s what our community expects.”
“In Lamar, I feel that it’s real big pressure,” senior lineman James Brigman said. “Because if you don’t (get to state), you go and see everybody that you know in town and then they’re going to ask you why.
That’s a question the Silver Foxes hope they won’t have to answer this season.
LAST YEAR: 9-4, 3-1 Region 3-A
PLAYOFFS: Lost in upper state title game
RETURNING STARTERS: 7 offense, 6 defense
KEY PLAYERS: QB/FS Decobie Durant, RB Tre Ceasar, OL/DL James Brigman
OPENER: Aug. 21 vs. Mullins