Gardner-Webb has new coach, 10 local players and an unconventional 2021 spring season coming up soon
photo: GW-Tre Lamb-2020practice1
By Richard Walker
Gardner-Webb is a preseason last-place pick for the upcoming 2021 Big South Conference spring football season.
But that doesn’t diminish the enthusiasm new coach Tre Lamb has for a roster that includes 10 Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties has for this unconventional season.
“Our guys are pumped,” Lamb said via zoom during Thursday’s Big South Conference football media day. “We’ve had quite a few roster changes, you know adding guys, losing guys. If anything, this 14-month period of time with no football has given programs like us the opportunity to catch up.
“I think we’ve benefitted as much as anyone from having time off, being able to do some things with our roster and kinda get our culture built from the ground up. Our guys just want to play. They’ll play anybody at this point.”
Gardner-Webb actually begins its schedule on Feb. 27 at home against Elon for a spring schedule that starts with four home games. The Bulldogs other three home games are March 6 against Presbyterian, March 20 against Monmouth and March 27 against Kennesaw State before visiting Charleston Southern on April 3 and Robert Morris on April 10. The last four games are Big South Conference games as the league champion advances into the FCS national playoffs that begin in late April.
Ten local products are playing for Gardner-Webb – junior linebacker Matthew Robinson (South Point 2018 graduate), junior defensive linemen Donnie Thompson (Lincolnton 2017) and Tremayne Booker (Forestview 2017), junior tight end Stormy Mosteller (Burns 2018), sophomore kicker Devin Baldwin (Stuart Cramer 2019), freshman running back Jalin Graham (Crest 2020), freshman defensive lineman Christopher Richardson (Crest 2020), freshman wide receivers Eli Brooks (Crest 2020) and Jordan Marshall (Mountain Island Charter 2020), freshman defensive back Chase Marsh (Mountain Island Charter 2020) and freshman linebacker Kendall Massey (Ashbrook 2020).
Lamb commented on those local players during Thursday’s news conference.
On Robinson: “”ker: “Booker is a warehouse guy on the interior defensive line. He’ll be in and out on three- and four-down fronts.”
On Baldwin: “Devin could earn the kickoff duty job. He’s got the strongest leg of any of our specialists.”
On Mosteller: “We moved Stormy to tight end (from defensive line). We were thin in that room. And he has actually come a long way. He’s a big body – 6-5, 265 pounds – so he’s kind of an extra offensive tackle when we put him at tight end.”
On Thompson: “Donnie, he’ll contribute on the defensive front. He’s been dealing with some nagging injuries and hasn’t been able to practice a whole lot. (He) adds a lot of character to our team.”
On Graham: “Jalin Graham is going to be special. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s not an all-conference type player.”
On Richardson: “Chris Richardson is another warehouse guy, a local guy for us.”
And on Brooks, Marshall, Marsh and Massey: “(They) are young, mostly walkon guys for us, but if they continue to put in the work, they will earn jobs on our football team. All of those guys are assets and all of those guys will continue to add depth to our program.”