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2023 Football Preview: Landrum

The Landrum Cardinals are fresh off a 2022 campaign in which they finished 2nd in region 1-2A behind Abbeville, which was their only loss in region play. The “Redbirds” finished 6-5 overall last year, and look to build on that despite having to endure a coaching change. 


Jason Farmer and Landrum parted ways after 9 years at the helm, and back on February 7th, Principal Keegan Flynn and the Spartanburg County School District 1 Board announced that Brent Bridges, who had spent the last 12 years coaching at Broome, most recently as their offensive coordinator, would be the program’s next head coach. 


Of course, with a coaching transition, there are more than just changes at the top. Landrum will see several new faces on the sidelines this season as part of a staff that Bridges says he feels really good about.


The additions to staff are as follows:


*Mike Reid – Defensive Coordinator

*Dylan Threadgill – Offensive Coordinator/O Line 

*Connor Bridges – Wide Receivers

*Jacob Powell – Defensive Line

*Kevin Walker – Linebackers

*Lyn Smith (who should be a very familiar name at “Cardinal Station” since he is the Boys Basketball Coach) will be the new Director of Football Operations. 


Returning to the program from Jason Farmer’s staff are Brent Driggers (Defensive Backs), David Evette (Offensive Line), and Brandon Cannon (Running Backs). 


Rosterwise, the Cards will be a very experienced and senior-heavy squad, with a whopping 25 of them, according to Bridges. Most notably, Braden Mashtare will be back for his senior year, as well as Colton Link, the duo of which ran for a combined 2,081 yards during the 2022 season. Aj Lindsey, who emerged as a star fullback as a freshman a year ago, will also be returning. Junior Titus Poore will presumably be back for his 3rd season as the Cardinals starting quarterback. 


They do have some big shoes to fill with the graduation of Free Safety/Wide Receiver Beckett Driggers, Linebacker Ryan Bunleut, and DL/Linebacker Ronnie Belue. But, Coach Bridges believes that with the talent and experience he has coming back, this guys are more than capable of stepping up. 


Landrum has had a very good Spring, and a couple of players have already emerged as some potential impact guys to watch out for this Fall. 


“Reese Dunaway is a player that is familiar to Landrum and has a chance to play on both sides of the ball this season. Colby Walker and Terrell Edwards are two receivers that have a chance to be special for us and can be some big time playmakers in our offense”, said Coach Bridges. 

Asked about what position group and players he was most excited about, Bridges was quick to reiterate the returning experience and talent, particularly in the running back room. 


“The offensive line and Running backs are two groups to be excited about. We have a lot of guys up front that have been starting on varsity for many years and they are good sized guys that get after it. We are looking forward to them truly anchoring the team and paving the way for our skill guys. The running backs are also very exciting as we have two guys coming back that combined for over 2,000 yards rushing last year (Colton Link- 1,267 and Braden Mashtare- 814). We are really looking forward to Mashtare playing all over the field and doing a lot for us this year in many different roles”


“The camaraderie is something that has the chance to be very special. The kids seem to mesh well together off the field and we are hoping to see it translate well and help us on the field. The players help one another on the field throughout the transition phase they have gone through this offseason. Anytime we need players to help with anything after practice or on off days, we always have more than enough willing to lend a hand. They have the will to learn and be coached. Lots of new stuff has been thrown at them and they have gone through a lot of change. They have been positive and optimistic through it all. The players and coaching staff are all working very hard, and we are excited about the upcoming season”, said Bridges when asked about what he is most excited about as far as his team as a whole goes and from what he has observed in spring/off-season workouts. 


Things will get started for Coach Bridges and his Cardinals when they open their 2023 campaign August 25th at home against the Berea Bulldogs with kickoff set for 7:30 PM.


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