Lamar’s top running back quits

Lamar’s top running back quits

It’s been another tough season for the Lamar Cardinal football program. After a 56-7 home loss to Sam Houston State last weekend, leading rusher Herschel Sims told head coach Ray Woodard he was leaving the team and would transfer at the end of the semester.

The sophomore was the team’s leading rusher with 388 yards but has missed the last two games due to a knee bruise. No particular reason was given to Coach Woodard, but Sims spoke his mind on his Twitter account (@newkid_28) late Tuesday by posting, “Very thankful for every opportunity I’ve been given. I gotta do what’s best for HERSCHEL. Either get with it or get lost!!! #dreamchaser.”

Sources have told me Sims was not very happy with the team’s performance this season as the Cardinals are currently 3-6 overall and 0-4 in Southland Conference play.

Cardinal fans rejoiced in July when Woodard announced he had signed the sophomore, who became available after being kicked off the Oklahoma State team earlier this summer when he was charged with two felony counts of second-degree forgery. He was alleged to have taken money out of an Oklahoma State teammate’s account without his permission.

Oct. 26, Sims returned to Oklahoma City and pleaded guilty to both charges and must serve 18 months of deferred adjudication and pay $300 in fines, $150 to the victim’s compensation fund and $700 in restitution.

Sims played high school ball at Abilene High School and was one of the top recruits in Texas in 2011 and moved on to Oklahoma State where he played in nine games last year and ran for 244 yards and two scores during the Cowboys 12-1 run.

Sims came to Lamar after two other Oklahoma State teammates transferred in receiver Kevin Johnson and defensive end Joe Okafor.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again — Division I (FBS) transfers are needed, but are not always the answer. Look at Rice University. They had not one but two FBS transfers at quarterback with Nick Fanuzzi from Alabama and Taylor Cook from Miami. The Owls are 3-6.

The Cards have three games left on their schedule, and one is very winnable — the final home game — Nicholls State on Nov. 10. Lamar plays at Stephen F. Austin this Saturday and has lost the last two games to the Lumberjacks by a combined score of 140-13. They finish the season at McNeese State on Nov. 17 in Lake Charles. 

If the Cards do beat Nicholls, which they should, and lose to SFA and McNeese State, they will end their third year 4-8 overall, but more importantly just 1-7 in the Southland Conference.

Attendance for home games have tapered off some, but official numbers from Lamar’s athletic department show a strong average of 11,734 fans per home game through five games.

A reported crowd of 9,042 came to Provost Umphrey Stadium last Saturday to watch Lamar and Sam Houston State, though it looked to be half that.

Strikers sign players

Beaumont’s newest professional sports team, the Texas Strikers, announced the signing of its first three players. For those who might not know, the Strikers are an indoor soccer team that will play its home games at Ford Arena beginning Dec. 1 against the Dallas Sidekicks.

Signed were Thomas Shenton, Mikey Olabarrieta and Jeff LeBlanc.

Shenton is a 24-year-old from Doncaster, England, where he played four years of high school soccer and four years at Doncaster College. He has since moved to Beaumont and was appointed director of training at Beaumont Youth Soccer Club in 2011.

Olabarrieta, or “Mikey O,” is from Houston and captained the development team for a professional team in Honduras in its minor categories. He was preselected at age 15 for the Honduras u-17 national team but moved to the United States with his family at that time. While growing up in Florida, he played high school soccer then moved to Lumberton where he finished his high school playing days with the Raiders, then went on to play for Lamar University. Mikey O currently coaches soccer at Kelly.

LeBlanc is a 29-year-old from Port Neches who played at Lamar and the University of Texas. He was also played in the United Soccer League and Premier Arena Soccer League.

Golf strokes

Ronnie Hollier joined the hole-in-one club Oct. 25, using a 6 iron on Hole 8 at the Henry Homberg Golf Course to nab the 180-yard shot, which was witnessed by Chris Loupe.

The Southeast Texas Senior Championship is set for Nov. 6-7 with the opening round at Babe Zaharias in Port Arthur and the second day at Bayou Din. The tournament is open to players 60 years and older, and the $25 entry fee will help the prize fund. Carts and greens fee are not included in the entry.

Players will be flighted by handicap, and a 9 a.m. start is planned for both days. Additional information can be obtained by calling Clint Martin at Bayou Din at (409) 796-1327.