Landrum Football 2023 Season Preview

Published 11:55 am Tuesday, August 1, 2023

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LANDRUM—The Landrum Cardinals are gearing up for an exciting season with a new head coach, Brent Bridges, at the helm. After running an option-run style offense for the past nine seasons, the team is shifting to a spread offensive system under Bridges, a former Broome quarterback and offensive coordinator. 

Despite the transition, the Cardinals are optimistic about their offense. With star running backs Colton Link and Braden Mashtare returning, who combined for 2,081 yards and 27 touchdowns last season, the team will have a strong ground game to build upon. Quarterback play will be critical to the team’s success, and Bridges has shown success in developing his quarterbacks in his previous coaching stints. 

On the defensive side of the ball, the Cardinals will be led by senior outside linebacker Marc Baker, who had 55 tackles and four sacks last season. Baker is not only a vital piece of the front seven on the field but a leader off it, making him a valuable asset for Bridges as he looks to establish a new culture at Landrum. 

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On the offensive line, the Cardinals will rely on All-Region 1-AA selections Jayden Van Wettering and Ben Ross. Van Wettering and Ross played a critical role in last season’s run game, which produced 2,700 yards and 33 touchdowns. Bridges is also looking for both to step up as pass blockers as Landrum shifts to a more pass-heavy spread system.

Landrum principal Kegan Flynn expressed excitement about the new hire, lauding Coach Bridgeman’s track record at developing student-athletes in the other programs he’s worked.

Bridges has been a head coach previously, with a 40-29 record in his six seasons as head coach at Chesnee and leading an explosive offense at Broome last season that racked up almost 4,000 total yards and 46 touchdowns in 11 games. 

Under Bridges, the Landrum offense plans to be wide-open, and he is confident in his chance’s to win at Landrum. 

“It will look to play a fast-paced style of ball that will try to put points on the board,” Bridges says. 

The Cardinals will face a demanding schedule this season, with local matchups against Polk County and Blue Ridge in September. There is a sense of anticipation as the Cardinals prepare for the upcoming season. Landrum is poised to make a strong showing this year with a new coach, a new offensive system, and a talented group of players.

Landrum hits the field for the first time at their preseason jamboree, Landrum Night of Football, this Friday, August 4, at 8 p.m. Each team will play a half of football, with the Cardinals facing Riverside High School while Broome takes on Blacksburg at 6 p.m., and Blue Ridge faces off with Ninety-Six at 7 p./m.