LU junior forward Colton Weisbrod nabs SLC honor

Lamar University junior forward Colton Weisbrod

Lamar University junior forward Colton Weisbrod has been named first-team All-Southland Conference. Weisbrod becomes LU’s first first-team selection since Mike James in 2012.

“I’m so happy for Colton,” said LU head coach Tic Price. “This is a tremendous honor for him. He took a circuitous route to Lamar and has had an excellent first year for us. Colton has been one of the best big men in the Southland, despite the fact that people game plan to stop him every night.”

The honor follows a season where Weisbrod helped guide the Cardinals to an 18-win campaign in the regular season, and receive its first berth in the Southland Conference Championships since the 2012 season.

A former first-team NJCAA All-American, Weisbrod made an immediate impact with the Cardinals after transferring from Lamar State College Port Arthur. The Nederland native led the team and finished sixth in the league in scoring (15.8 ppg) and was second in the Southland in rebounds (8.4 rpg), despite being undersized for his position. He also finished fifth in the conference shooting nearly 53 percent from the field.

Weisbrod (6-5) started every game for the Cardinals in the 2016-17 season, leading the team in scoring 16 times and rebounding 20 times. He garnered SLC Player of the Week honors in December following a three-game stretch that saw him average 27 points and better than 11 rebounds.

Weisbrod’s scored at least 20 points in a game eight times with two 30-point efforts. He scored a career-high 34 points against Southeastern Louisiana, and closed out the regular season with a 32-point showing against rival McNeese.

“Colton faced double and triple teams all season, and despite that figured out a way to not only score, but be effective on the glass,” said Price. “The scary thing about Colton is I believe his best basketball is still ahead of him.”

The Cardinals are back in the Southland Conference Championships for the first time since the 2012 season. They opened tournament play against No. 7 seed Southeastern Louisiana on Wednesday night. If they win, they will play Thursday, March ,9 against No. 3 seed SFA at 7:30 p.m.

The SLC Championship game is schedule for Saturday, March 11, at 8:30 p.m. and will be shown live on ESPN2.

Chastadie Barrs produced her third straight double-double as the Lamar Lady Cardinals locked up the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament with an 83-67 win at archrival McNeese on March 4.

Barrs finished with 13 points and tied a season-high with 10 assists as the Cardinals (22-6 overall, 15-3 Southland) earned an automatic berth into the tournament semifinals and will next play Saturday, March 11, in the semifinals at 3:30 p.m. at the Merrell Center in Katy.

Cards get pinch grand slam to beat Rice

A sixth inning pinch-hit grand slam off the bat of Mike Leal gave the Lamar baseball squad its first lead of the night and supplied all it needed when the Cardinals downed Rice 10-4 at Vincent-Beck Stadium on March 7 in non-conference action.

Down 4-2 at the start of the sixth frame, sophomore Robin Adames and senior Bryndan Arredondo started the inning with back-to-back singles for Lamar (8-5). Adames’ was through the right side and Arredondo’s was to left field. Two batters later and after a wild pitch, freshman Payton Robertson drew a full-count walk that loaded them.

In the ninth hole, Leal – who was 1-for-5 as a pinch hitter at the start of the game – blasted his first career home run pushing a three-ball, one-strike pitch over the right field wall.

“Mike was so good in the fall and spring, and that is why he earned an opening day start. He got off to slow start, but I had all the confidence in him that he would be able get a ball in play,” said head coach Will Davis. “Today with the wind and a 3-1 count, I thought to myself this could be special. That was a huge hit that got us going.”

Adames, who pushed his reached-base streak to a career-best 21 games, was 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. The Cardinals collected 11 hits and drew seven walks in the contest; they only struck out five times.

Much like it did in its first midweek game of 2017, LU tossed several pitchers. Senior Brett Brown started a line of seven pitchers with an inning pitched. He gave up two runs on two hits. Brent Janak (1-0) grabbed the win on a perfect frame with a strikeout. Galen Andrews pitched two innings, and Jimmy Johnson closed it out with one.

“I think we have been able to learn some things,” said Davis. “On nights like this when your staff is thin and you don’t have a midweek starter, that is when you have guys rise to the occasion. Guys like Ryan Cawthon and Brent Janak. I thought it was great to see Ryan Johnson to get out there. Galen pitched in the clutch after some tough calls.”

The Cards will next travel to Huntsville to play Sam Houston State in a three-game series with a 6:30 p.m. game on Friday, followed by games at 3 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

LU will play two mid-week non conference games with Prairie View A&M on Tuesday, March 14, at 4 p.m. and Wednesday, March 15, with Texas Southern at 4 p.m.

Softball

The Lady Cards went 2-3 last weekend at the Wooo Pig Classic in Arkansas and now head to Southland Conference play with a 7-13 record. LU will host Northwestern State for three games beginning Friday, March 10, at 5 p.m. then a double-header on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Track & field

She garnered three All-Southland Conference honors and was the Indoor Championships High Point Scorer, and for her efforts, the Southland Conference announced that Lamar University Track and Field’s Thai Williams is the 2017 Female Athlete of the Year and Female Outstanding Field Performer.

“Thai really had a great meet. She won the long jump late Wednesday night on her last chance, and you could tell she locked in after that,” said head coach Trey Clark. “She is truly a competitor and is always on. You could just see the confidence in her grow throughout the meet.”

Williams was the indoor champion in both the long jump and 60-meter dash. After a silver medal finish in the triple jump on the final day, she racked up 28 total points. Her total points tied Sam Houston State’s Danielle Demas’ mark in 2016, and both were the most since Ryanne Dupree in 2006.

The League City native is the first athlete in SLC history to win both the long jump and 60 meters at one indoor championships.

Williams is the third Female Athlete of the Year to hail from Lamar in the last four seasons, joining Jannika John (2015) and Louise Webb (2014). Williams is the first ever Cardinal to be named Female Outstanding Field Performer.

Overall, Lamar finished with 12 All-Southland performers including Jannika John, Evelyn Chavez, Alexandra Sokolova, Megan Menifee and Georgia Tuckfield.

On the men’s side, Brian O’Bonna netted two All-Southland Conference awards, one second team and the other a third team. Tylen Guidry was named second-team.

The Cardinals open their outdoor season at the Texas Southern Relays, hosted March 17-18.

Football

Lamar University All-American defensive back Brendan Langley competed at the NFL Combine on March 6 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. A two-year standout for the Cardinals who played all three phases of the game, Langley put up impressive numbers during his time on the field at the combine.

The highlight of his performance came in the bench press. Langley had 22 reps in the bench, which was the best performance of all defensive backs. He also finished the day with a 4.43 in the 40-yard dash, a 35.5-inch vertical jump, 123-inch broad jump and clocked a 4.21 in the 20-yard shuttle. Langley also participated in the 60-yard shuttle and three-cone drill.

Langley heads into April’s draft with some notable strengths. NFL.com states that Langley has desired length for the position with blazing speed to carry vertical routes down the field.

The NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 27, with the final round taking place Saturday, April 29.

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