Merchant looks to gain playing time

By Barbara Boxleitner
Posted 9/15/20

The East Texas Baptist University football team is deep with running backs.

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Merchant looks to gain playing time


The East Texas Baptist University football team is deep with running backs.

Among the 10 backs on the roster is Madisonville High School graduate Cornelius Merchant, a sophomore returnee hoping to earn playing time.

Merchant did not play in a game last year, his first at the school after transferring from Trinity Valley Community College.

"I was a freshman," said Merchant. "They just had older guys."

Ahead of him at the position this year include a senior who was second on the team in rushing yardage last year and a junior who played in eight games. The season has been postponed until the spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"He's a tough runner that runs hard," said ETB head coach Brian Mayper. "He's got good hands."

During the summer, Merchant said he conditioned more and worked on his football readiness to prepare for the season.

"I did a bunch of running back drills, like cutting," said Merchant.

Heading into the first week of September, he was happy with how his conditioning and skills workouts were going. He said the running backs were working on running, blocking and passing drills.

By Sept. 8, though, he was injured, according to Mayper, who said he didn't think Merchant would miss much time.

Men's golf

Former Mustang Brylen Mills is a freshman for Tyler Junior College.

Men's rodeo

Madisonville alumni Colby Lovell and Paul Eaves tied for first in team roping at a Sikeston, Mo., event and earned $5,097 each, according to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. They won the team roping at a Farmington, Mo., event, each collecting $1,034. As of Sept. 9, Lovell ranked fifth in the PRCA/Ram World team roping header standings with $60,277.73 in earnings.

Send updates about area athletes to Barbara Boxleitner at