Players of the Pine Belt: Lumberton RB Da’Byron Conerly

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 9:03 PM CDT
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LUMBERTON, Miss. (WDAM) - After going .500 last season, Lumberton enters 2022 hungrier than ever.

“At a place like this, going 6-6 and getting put out in the second round is never really acceptable,” Lumberton head coach Jonathan Ladner said.

Despite coming off of a subpar season, the expectation in Lumberton is at an all-time high.

“The standard is really high for us and I feel like the team, we can take it all the way this year. I expect us to,” Lumberton senior running back Da’Byron Conerly said.

It won’t be an easy task for a young Panther team who graduated nine seniors last year.

“We’re asking a lot of young guys to step up and take some positions,” Ladner said. “They’re going to get thrown in the fire and we’re going to have to grow up but you know it’s fun coaching a young group. They’re excited. They’re full of energy.”

“The younger teams grow faster and they grow so quickly and tightly that I feel like this team is going to go a long way, longer than what people think we’re going to go,” Conerly said.

Helping those inexperienced players grow on and off the field is senior running back Da’Byron Conerly.

“When you say a guy that embodies what Lumberton Panther football is all about, that’s Da’Byron,” Ladner said. “We got a lot of these younger guys that look up to him and they want to be like him.”

The young panthers modeling their game after a do-it-all, swiss army knife in Conerly who played six positions on both sides of the ball last season.

“If you look up what the definition of Swiss army knife is, it’s got a picture of Da’Byron out there because he can do a lot of great things with the football in his hands and he always has a nose for it on defense to find the football,” the head coach said.

“Guys like him make me look like a really good coach and they make our lives a lot easier as a coach because I know I can count on him and trust him when it’s good or when it’s bad.”

As for what Conerly brings to the field beyond game play..

“Tenacity. Everything he does, he does it as hard as he possibly can and he has a desire to win. He’s able to take that tenacity, that intense, that focus and everything and get his teammates fired up and ready to go”

“110% every rep. That’s the only thing you’ll get out of me is 110%. I make sure I give my everything for my team and for my coaches because I know they’ll do the same thing for me.”

Lumberton kicks off their season at home versus Purvis on Aug. 26.

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