When he walked to midfield with the other Carroll football captains for the opening coin toss, Lucas Tribble probably couldn’t tell you much about the surroundings at Austin Westlake’s Stadium.
He was living the dream.
A Carroll lifer, Tribble had seen other Carroll captains walk to midfield representing a football program, a school and a community. He wanted to walk the walk.
“I’ve been hoping to be a captain since I knew what Carroll Dragon football was,” Tribble said. “It was really exciting. It made me feel like my hard work was paying off and that my team recognized me.”
As it turned out, Carroll coach Hal Wasson’s decision to make Tribble the anchor of the Carroll offensive line was pretty easy. Tribble (6-5, 270) has been with the varsity for the last three seasons. He started off at right tackle as a sophomore before moving over to his natural position in 2014.
Tribble was groomed for this position. He went through the Carroll middle school program as a left tackle. He has a natural kick with his left foot, a perfect attribute for any tackle. Tribble has since added a leadership quality that has the rest of the offensive line and the locker room’s attention. And Carroll’s coaching staff is asking him to make the pass protection calls.
“He’s a Dragon,” Carroll coach Hal Wasson said. “When you see the way he works and what he brings to our program day after day, you know why he was made a captain. He understands the position. It’s one thing to have good feet. Lucas does. But he has a great base.”
It’s essential for a left tackle to have the package since he usually has to protect a quarterback’s blind side. Tibble has the size and the punch an offensive lineman needs. He also must earn that quarterback’s confidence.
Tribble started with Ryan Agnew in 2014. He protected senior Montana Murphy in the opener against Westlake and then was expected to protect junior Mason Holmes Sept. 4 at Tulsa Union.
“I take pride in it,” Tribble said. “He’s got to have full trust in me that I’m going to keep guys off his back. If I miss, there’s going to be some big dude hurtling over on his back. That doesn’t feel too good.”
Winning is expected at Carroll. But it’s not a given either. As the Westlake game showed, Carroll can’t show up with the fire-breathing Dragon decal on its helmet and let it happen.
That’s where the veterans have to emerge and bring stability when adversity strikes. This program has experienced some.
“I think the younger players learned that the hard way, that you don’t show up and win,” Tribble said. “That’s not how it works. You just have to work and not let any little things slip. But if we’re not fast and in sync then it’s going to be tough. We have to go out and play.”
Tribble is probably going to be playing somewhere in college in 2016. But the process is still ongoing. He has offers from Toledo, Missouri State, Eastern Michigan, Central Arkansas, Stephen F. Austin, Nevada, Liberty and Dartmouth. It’s possible other schools will become involved once they review his senior film.
Dragons come home
Carroll finally enjoys its 2015 home opener against Midland Lee at 7:30 Friday, Sept. 11 at Dragon Stadium. The Dragons have dominated the last three meetings going back to 2013. They have won by scores of 63-14, 51-7 and 56-6. The game can be heard on KWRD 100.7 FM with the pregame show beginning at 6:30 p.m.