Aug 29, 2013
The Lamar Cardinals landed nine players on the Southland Conference's 1960 Football All-Decade team announced league officials Thursday afternoon. The Cardinals, winners of the first three league titles, led all institutions with 10 selections. The all-decade team is a part of the Southland's year long 50th Anniversary celebration.
"The 10 representatives on the 1960's all-decade team speaks to the rich history and tradition of the Lamar program," said LU Athletics Director Jason Henderson. "They set a standard of success in the early days of the Southland that our teams aspire to today. It is great to see the accomplishments of these players still being recognized."
The '60s all-decade team consists of 36 members from all five institutions that comprised the conference during its first six years. Lamar's 10 selections consist of five offensive players and five defensive. The 10 former Cardinals consist of Dick Croxton, (DL/1965-67), Jake David (DB/1965-66), Johnny Fuller (S/1966-67), Anthony Guillory (LB/1964), Bill Kilgore (E/1965-67), Ed Marcontell (OL/1965-66), Vernon McManus, (OL-LB/1964-65), Phil Primm (QB/1965-66), Tom Smiley (RB/1966-67) and Spergon Wynn (OL/1966-67).
Nine of Lamar's 10 selections earned first-team all-conference honors at least twice in their careers, including Croxton who was a three-time all-conference defensive lineman. Four players went on to careers in the NFL, including Fuller, Guillory, Marcontell and Smiley.
Recognized for his play on both sides of the ball, McManus was one of the league's top linebackers and offensive lineman during his career. McManus was named league's defensive player of the year in 1965. The following season Primm took the league's top offensive honors leading the league in passing yards and total offense.
Wynn received first-team All-America honors as a member of the Cardinals' offensive line in 1967. Wynn blocked for one of the school's all-time leading rushers in Smiley. The school's all-time leader for yards gained by a senior, Smiley still ranks fourth all-time in school history with 1,781 yards.
"From the very beginning of the Southland Conference, the league proved very competitive in football and those teams, coaches and student-athletes set standards of excellence that have carried through our five decades," league commissioner Tom Burnett said. "There were certainly a number of great stars that went on to perform successfully at the next level, as well as hall of fame coaches that have left a lasting legacy in the Southland."
To best assess the candidate pool for the all-decade team, the Southland Conference developed a metric that analyzed numerous elements of a student-athlete's performance and value within the league at the time. Most notably, the conference honored "real-time" factors such as all-conference selection by coaches and a player's statistical performance among his peers at the time. Further, other components of selection including a player's effort toward helping his team win a championship or finish near the top of the conference, whether he earned individual honors from the league, if he participated in postseason bowls, and if he was drafted by or participated in the NFL.
The Southland Conference will continue to recognize all-decade teams throughout the 2013 season.