Landrum earns Athlete of the Year runner-up

Published 2:37 am Saturday, May 23, 2009

In Sweet Water, the Landrum name is synonymous with success. The lofty status that accompanies the family name is merited.

“They’ve just always had such a strong presence in Sweet Water and in our school,” SWHS athletic director Stacy Luker says of the Landrums.

The latest in a long line of Landrums to leave a legacy at Sweet Water High, Antonio Landrum understands the significance of hard work.

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“Every year, somebody says something about the name. So me and my brother, we work hard at every sport we play to keep the tradition alive,” Landrum says.

It is that work ethic that helped him intercept seven passes and earn first-team all-state honors for the Bulldogs in 2008, capping off a season that brought him his fourth state championship ring in five seasons.

It is that work ethic that saw him average 14 points per game in basketball and score 48 runs in baseball during his senior year.

“Every sport he played. He had a lot of savvy about him,” Luker says. “He understands the game. As he got older, he became a good leader for us.”

Successful in three sports, it is baseball that proved home for Landrum.

“Ever since I was six, I loved to play baseball. It’s my father’s favorite sport, so I guess it just rubbed off on me,” Antonio says of a game his uncle, Cedric, played at the Major League level. “Most everything I know in baseball, I’ve learned from (Cedric) and my father.”

Antonio used the tips from his father and uncle to anchor the No. 3 spot in the batting order and hold down the shortstop spot for the Bulldogs.

“His skills may be the least of what he brings,” SWHS baseball coach Kevin Byrd says. “He handles pressure so well. There is almost no situation he hasn’t been in. He leads. He’s still a young man, but as a person, he’s what you want on your team.”

“He’s just a high-character kid,” Luker says. “In five years, he’s never been in any trouble. He’s spiritually grounded.”

Landrum, who now looks to lengthen his career at the junior college level, values the impression he made upon his community above his athletic achievements.

“People say that I work hard in everything that I do,” he says.

“Everyone tells me they’re going to miss me. So I guess I’ve done pretty good.”