Bobby Lamb’s 2016 Mercer team had 30 seniors on its roster — the first large class for the program to have to move on from since it opened play in 2013.
Players like John Russ, Tyler Ward, Tosin Aguebor, Zach Jackson and Kirby Southard are no longer with the program. Good players? Yes. Great leaders? indeed.
Even though this year’s senior class is much smaller, it sounds like it has the leadership part down pat.
“It’s been great. Our senior class is doing a good job. Even though we’re small with only (13) seniors, we’re doing a solid job of leadership,” Lamb said. “And we’ve got some younger guys really pitching in. That excites me because leadership has got to come from all levels. It’s got to come from our coaching staff, our younger players and then our seniors. I think we’re in good shape with that.”
The senior class is small, but it’s ready to have a big impact.
The seniors on offense are wide receivers Chandler Curtis and Avery Ward, linemen Caleb Yates and Thomas Marchman and running backs Alex Lakes and Kyle Trammell.
“Coach Lamb says time flew by, which it did. This year, I’m already pumped for my senior season,” Curtis said. “I’m ready right now. I give praise to the higher guys because they showed us the way to be a group and become an actual bigger family than what we are. This year, I actually feel like the captains and everything are, I wouldn’t say much better ... but better because of the example they set for us.
“So we already know what to do and what it takes.”
The seniors on defense are linebackers Lemarkus Bailey, Lee Bennett and Kyle Williams, defensive linemen Jalen Penn and Austin Barrett and defensive back Jeremy James.
And then there is place-kicker/punter Jagger Lieb.
“I’m just going to embrace it and enjoy the moment,” Bennett said. “I’m trying to teach the young kids, the young bucks, teach them to lead by example, just like me, so that’s where we’re going to get our leadership from.”