News-Argus Offensive Player of the Year -- EW's Lamar Best
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on December 12, 2010 1:50 AM
The premise was simple for the Eastern Wayne football team this fall. Give the ball to Lamar Best and good things will happen.
Best wore many hats throughout the season for the Warriors and whether he lined up at running back, wide receiver, defensive back, punter or kick returner, he proved to be one of the most reliable and versatile athletes in eastern North Carolina.
For those reasons, Best has been named the 2010 News-Argus All-Area Offensive Player of the Year.
"A lot of people watched the games, but they didn't see all the great things that Lamar did for us," said second year Warriors head coach Bubba Williams. "He ran the ball, caught the ball, scored touchdowns, played special teams and wreaked havoc on defense."
Known for his gritty mentality, Best showed Williams and the coaching staff early on that he was not going to leave the field. Despite his diminutive stature at 5-foot-6 and 160 pounds, Best played nearly every snap during the Warriors' non-conference schedule.
"Everybody looks at Lamar's size and they are amazed," said Williams. "The thing that he improved on so much between his junior and senior seasons was his ability to run through some people instead of trying to run around everyone. He's a deceptively powerful runner."
Best announced his presence to area football fans with a pair of sterling games against Goldsboro and Greene Central. During those two contests, both Eastern Wayne victories, Best racked up nearly 400 yards of total offense. A four-touchdown performance against Wilson Fike to finish the non-conference slate put Best squarely in the Wayne County spotlight.
"A lot of credit for those big games goes to my teammates," said Best. "It's impossible to win a game by yourself. It takes a whole team of guys doing their job."
The Warriors did their jobs all the way through an title run within the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference. The success of an 8-4 record and a conference title was made even more amazing by the fact that the Warriors only won one game in 2009.
It's a season Best remembered with a wry smile.
"My junior year was tough, but we (seniors) decided that we didn't want to go through that again," said Best. "This season was a lot more fun."
The Warriors finished the year with a tough opening-round loss to Southern Vance in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A playoffs. When the smoke cleared, Best's numbers spoke for themselves. The senior sparkplug tallied 1876 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns.
Best also collected 10 catches for 238 yards and completed six passes for 65 yards. He accounted for 2,179 yards of total offense and 26 touchdowns.
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