BY RYAN ABER
In Sunday’s paper, we started a series on All-State football history that we’ll run leading up to the unveiling of the 100th Oklahoman All-State team in late December.
The first story in the series was on Lydell Carr, the dynamic Enid running back on the 1983 All-State team that went on to star at Oklahoma. You can read that story here.
Here’s some more on Carr:
-When he got to OU, his roommate was Patrick Collins, who played for the Tulsa Washington team Carr’s Enid squad beat 14-0 in the Class 5A state championship game that year.
“That was part of us actually wanting to room together because we knew each other from that game,” Carr said. “We didn’t talk much about it, though.”
Collins’ Hornets came into that game No. 3 in the nation according to USA Today. Collins ran for 43 yards in the game while Carr had 164 and two scores.
Carr returned the opening kick 90 yards for a touchdown, then scored again in the fourth quarter to give the Plainsmen some breathing room.
“It turned out to be our night,” Carr said.
-Almost 30 years later, Carr’s high school career still leaves a mark, both on the Enid community and Carr.
Carr returned home earlier this year to speak with this year’s Plainsmen.
For Carr, the experience brought back memories of his playing days.
“It meant a lot,” Carr said of his football career. “Remembering the way I was raised, I didn’t have a lot growing up and just (remember) wanting to provide everything that I can for my children.”
Carr played five games for the Phoenix Cardinals in 1989 after running for nearly 3,000 yards for the Sooners from 1984-87.
Still, he wonders if it could’ve been more.
“There’s always that thought,” Carr said. “Could I have that just a little bit better? Could I have tried a little more? Could I have done something a little different? Maybe if I would’ve done this, then I could’ve done more.”
-Ron Lancaster has plenty to say about Lydell Carr, though he also still makes it a point to talk about the other side of the ball.
“What people forget about that team was how good the defense was,” Lancaster said.
It’s hard to argue with that after Enid held Tulsa Washington to just 56 total yards.
But there was no doubt Carr was the leader of the team, both in talent and in drive.
“Lydell wasn’t the fastest guy in the world; He wasn’t the biggest kid; He wasn’t the greatest tailback necessarily,” Lancaster said. “But he played with a lot of heart. He instilled a confidence in people around him.”
That confidence was never more evident than one week when the Plainsmen were preparing to play Lawton Eisenhower.
Carr was injured but everyday during the week leading up to the game, he was out on the field–in full pads–for Enid’s practices. There wasn’t any other way it was going to be.
“That was just the way I carried it all the way through,” Carr said. “You’re still part of the team. You can only ice and heat so much so you might as well be out there. You want to be part of what’s going on. It was the same way when I want to Oklahoma and in the NFL.”
On Thursday of that game week, a day usually reserved for a light walk-through in shorts, Carr made it out on the field first–again in full pads. When the other players saw Carr dressed in full pads, they went back in and matched Carr’s outfit.
For the game, Carr was also dressed out even though there was no chance he would play.
“I think we were in the second quarter before Lawton Ike knew that Lydell wasn’t playing,” Lancaster said. “That was just Lydell Carr. He understood his role. He was a leader and he was going to lead whether he played or not.”
-Lancaster talked about a call legendary Sooners coach Barry Switzer made to him after the Sooners’ 42-10 win at Pittsburgh. The game was the second of Carr’s freshman season.
Here’s a passage from Jim Lassiter’s column in The Oklahoman on the game:
“The young Oklahoma offense, inexperienced and tentative at the outset because of freshman backs, finally extracted 383 yards from the Panthers, who opened this ’84 season as the nation’s No. 3 team. The “Mack Attack,” named in honor of its architect, Mack Brown, works on the field like it does on the blackboard. Lydell Carr may make OU fans forget all about Marcus Dupree while future OU quarterbacks someday may be measured against Danny Bradley’s performance against Pittsburgh.”
-While his 15-year-old daughter concentrates solely on volleyball, 8-year-old Jaclyn is more diverse.
“She’s my little pistol. She’s doing gymnastics, basketball and volleyball,” Carr said. “They keep me busy.
“I don’t remember getting up at 8 when I was her age to go play sports.