MOULTRIE -- Florazel "Sweet" Lamar always felt he had much to prove on the football field.

When he pulled on jersey No. 22 for the Moultrie High Packers in 1970, 1971 and 1972, he was 5 feet, 5 1/2 inches tall and weighed 155 pounds.

"I just wanted a chance," he says. "A lot of people said I was too small to play."

Lamar proved them wrong.

Small, perhaps. But he could scoot, leading the Packers in rushing as a junior, and as a senior, despite missing the first six games because of an injury, he helped lead the Packers to the South Georgia championship game.

Lamar also played two seasons at Clark College and while serving 20 years in the U.S. Army, coached at Fort Valley State and Morris Brown. He also coached high school football while serving in Germany and South Korea.

Shifty and speedy, Lamar rushed his way into Packer fans hearts and into selection to the Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame. Lamar is part of the 17-member 2005 class that will be inducted in the annual banquet to be held Thursday, Oct. 6, at the Colquitt County High cafeteria.

He also will be introduced the next night at Mack Tharpe Stadium at Tom White Field, where he dazzled Moultrie High fans for three seasons.

Ironically, also being inducted this year is Tony Mock, who set the region rushing record in 1970, Lamar's sophomore season.

Lamar said he is pleased the two will go into the Hall of Fame together.

"That's a very big honor to go in with him," Lamar said of Mock. "He was my inspiration. I started when he left."

And like Mock, Lamar played a large role on some of the most successful Packers teams ever.

The 1970 team which went 9-1, was led offensively by Mock, James Stancil and Freddie Hammock and a stellar offensive line that included All-State tackle Dick Carter, Roger Plymel, Bruce Boring, Richard Bass, David Durham, Charles Ellis and Wayne Burroughs.

Linebacker Steve Bass was an All-State selection that season as well, and sophomore defensive back Ray Goff led Region 1-AAA in pass interceptions with seven.

Another sophomore, "Sweet" Lamar, in his first season with the Packers after playing at William Bryant High, returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown in a 47-0 victory over Central of Thomasville.

The 1971 Packers went 8-2, losing only to Valdosta and Thomasville. And Lamar was making his presence felt in the backfield.

Bud Willis turned Goff loose and the future Georgia quarterback and Colquitt County Hall of Famer completed 87-of-182 passes for 1,571 yards and 12 touchdowns.

When Goff was not throwing the ball, Lamar was carrying it, leading the team with 581 yards on 120 carries.

Lamar had some memorable games in his junior season, scoring on a 9-yard run against Tift County and rushing for 154 yards on 21 carries in a 28-0 victory over Albany.

He also averaged more than 20 yards on kickoff returns and and on punt returns.

Lamar's senior season got off to a disappointing start when he was injured and did not play until the sixth game.

The Packers again had a potent rushing attack with Lamar, Donnie Moore and John Barber, who finished second in the region in rushingand was named honorable mention All-State. Lamar returned to the lineup in time to score on a 1-yard run and on a 24-yard pass from Goff in 42-19 victory over Warner Robins. He also threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to Winston Collins.

Lamar also rushed for 73 yards on just nine carries in a 49-0 victory over Bainbridge and broke out for 141 yards on just 17 carries in a 41-7 win over Albany.

The Packers rolled through the regular season undefeated and beat Glynn Academy 26-8 to set up a meeting with Central of Macon at Mack Tharpe Stadium for the South Georgia championship.

Central won the game 16-15 on penetration and it was a doubly disappointing end to Lamar's career.

In his final game for William Bryant High four years earlier, the Rams also had lost on penetration at Mack Tharpe Stadium, he said.

Opening the holes for Lamar, Moore and Barber was an offensive line that included Randy Adams, John Burroughs, Steve Lazarus, Bobby Ethridge and Steve Turner.

And on defense, the Packers were led by All-State defensive back Marty Hammock, who went on to play at Memphis State and will join Lamar in the being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.

Lamar was born in Cairo, but grew up in Moultrie. He says Prunice Scott, his fourth-grade teacher at C.A. Gray, was instrumental in encouraging him to play football.

By the time he was in seventh-grade, he was playing defensive tackle for coach Samuel Stewart and a year later was showing he could carry the football at William Bryant for coaches Ralph Taylor and Calvin "Dad" Small. Stewart, Taylor and Small also are members of the Hall of Fame.

When the county schools were integrated and William Bryant High was closed in 1970, Taylor, Lamar, Stancil, Ronnie Robinson, Willie McIntyre Rheuben Lewis, Joe Stephens, Arthur Miles and Eddie Boyd joined the Packers football team.

After graduating from Moultrie High, Lamar started for two seasons at Clark College in Atlanta and then joined the U.S. Army. While in Germany and South Korea, he helped coach high school football teams.

And while on the military staff at Fort Valley State and Morris Brown, the served as an assistant football coach.

While in the Army, Lamar earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland. He also has a master's degree from Central Michigan.

Married since 1975, Lamar and his wife Venessa have three children: daughter Felicia, 23; son Frederick, 24, who played football at Fort Valley State; and son Florazel, 27, who played soccer at Coker College.

Now living in Rex, just south of Atlanta, Lamar is retired after 20 years in the Army and spends as much time as he can on the golf course, trying to lower his handicap.

"This is such a surprise and an honor," Lamar said of his selection to the Hall of Fame. "I've been blessed."

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