Photo by Hannah Prince
By Anthony Ruiz /// Sports Editor
Against all odds, Lamar Curry (’13) ended up a Pioneer. It started when, at a college fair in a church, Curry ran into a counselor who had a connection to conference rival George Fox University. His counselor began to sell Curry on all the things that Oregon has to offer, as well as the benefits of attending a smaller school. Although LC wasn’t the pick his counselor may have wanted, Curry’s mind was set.
Curry had been set on going to a big school and had long decided that his days of competitive sports were over. Still, Curry decided to give Lewis & Clark a chance with a campus visit.
“I got caught on a sunny day,” said Curry, and over four years later, the biology major has left his mark on the Hill. Curry is a two-sport athlete participating in both football and track. Despite excelling in both, Curry had no plans to play DIII sports. “I wasn’t recruited for sports at all,” said Curry. Then he met a football coach at LC who noticed an athletic sweater he was wearing. The coach was able to convince Curry to come out and play wide receiver for the Pioneers.
After only a few days of camp, coaches began evaluating where they could best use Curry. There was depth at the wide receiver position, and coaches decided to call an audible and switch Curry’s position to cornerback. Corners are the players that are responsible for covering receivers in football. They often start plays backpedaling and turning their hips before turning around rapidly and opening up their strides to a full sprint in so they can maintain position on the offensive player.
Growing up in Los Angeles, Curry learned to “adjust to new things easily.” Learning to run backwards came easy for Curry, who recorded 21 tackles in his freshmen year along with two pass deflections. At LC, Curry also had to learn to balance being a two-sport athlete with being a student. When asked how he was able to manage during a particularly difficult semester in his junior year, Curry said, “I didn’t sleep. I just tried to stay afloat.”
After three years at corner, Curry was asked once again to adjust on the fly. This time, coaches asked Curry to switch to free safety, a position that was previously held by Team Captain Chris Kelly (’12). Kelly was a leader on the field and Curry had big shoes to fill. “I used to look up to Chris,” said Curry.
As well as losing former Defensive Back Coach Meadow Lemon going into his senior year, Curry had to reinvent his craft. Under the defensive scheme that LC uses, the free safety is often responsible for covering large areas of the field while still being able to help in run support. It was a task that Curry wasn’t afraid of facing. In his senior season while playing free safety, Curry recorded a career high 29 tackles and two interceptions.
While you might have been able to catch Curry backpedaling to cover receivers in the fall, he knows how to run forward during the spring. Curry was a member of the CIF Southern Section Division II championship track team at Loyola High School. Curry has used this experience and has been a mainstay on the LC track team for the last four seasons. Unfortunately, Curry’s track career has come with its fair share of injury problems. Curry has admitted to being injured more during track season than when he is playing football. Curry is currently working through a cartilage problem in his knee. He hopes to work through the season, but it still might require a procedure at season’s end.
After graduating in May, Curry aspires to use the skills he has learned at LC to go to medical school. He hopes to conduct orthopedic and other medical research first while considering becoming a physician after medical school.