By Gene Phelps
Andrew Lambert was Booneville’s true “do-it-all” player this season on the football field.
“He didn’t kick extra points, we had to give him some rest,” Booneville coach Mike Mattox said, then laughed. “He did everything for us. He never came off the field.”
Lambert certainly earned the label “athlete” on the North roster for Saturday’s 65th Bernard Blackwell All-Star Classic football game at Gulfport High School’s Milner Stadium.
The kickoff is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and the game will be televised locally on WTVA.
“That’s true, I didn’t get many breaks,” said Lambert, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound running back, slot receiver, defensive back, kick returner, punt returner, punter and kickoff specialist. “It was pretty tough, but I enjoyed every second of it.”
Here’s a look at Lambert’s regular season statistics:
• Rushed for 388 yards, scored five touchdowns.
• Caught 32 passes for 427 yards, scored five touchdowns.
• Averaged 18.42 yards per kickoff return.
• Recorded 72 tackles, 42 solo.
• Intercepted four passes.
• Averaged in the high 30s on punts
“He was injured in the Belmont game, a separated shoulder,” Mattox said. “He still wanted to play, so he punted for us. He does whatever it takes to help his team.”
Mattox figures his star will sign to play baseball in college – Lambert’s a catcher and pitcher – but is confident he could help somebody’s football team.
“They would be a fool not to offer him in football,” Mattox said. “He played free safety for us and intercepted four passes. What’s remarkable about that is people were throwing away from him.
“He’s not a 4.3 guy, he’s just a player, a winner.”
Lambert is keeping his football options “open” and hopes Saturday’s North/South game will draw some interest.
“I want to give it one more shot,” he said.
Bernard Blackwell All-Star Classic
• When: Saturday
• Where: Gulfport
• Kickoff: 11:30 a.m.
• TV: ABC-WTVA
• Area players: RB Qinn Tiggs, Tupelo; WR Brice Spence, Corinthl; WR Marcus Green, North Pontotoc; DB Levarious Varnado, Calhoun City; ATH Andrew Lambert, Booneville; RB DeVonta Gates, Baldwyn; K/P Reed Bigham, Tupelo; LB Aleck Hobson, Ripley; LB James Gilleylen, Tupelo; OL Tyler Floyd, Booneville; DL Darrius Liggins, Oxford; WR Sammie Burroughs, Aberdeen; DB Chris Brown, New Albany; OL Devonte Barkley, Ripley.
• Area coaches: Chris Chambless, West Point; Toby Collums, Itawamba AHS; Lee J. Grisham, West Point; Mike Mattox, Booneville; Ron Price, New Albany.