Injuries knock out two Southeast Missouri State offensive line starters

Sunday, August 19, 2012
Southeast Missouri State running back Lewis Washington runs downfield during Saturday's scrimmage at Houck Stadium. (ADAM VOGLER)

Quarterback hasn't been Southeast Missouri State's only injury-riddled position during preseason camp.

In addition to starting sophomore quarterback Kyle Snyder having to miss the entire season with a knee injury, two offensive linemen who started all 11 games last year also are out for the campaign.

Senior tackle Dominic Maldonado and senior center Matt Shannon again were hit by injuries.

Maldonado suffered a second serious back injury, while Shannon tore his knee for the fourth time.

Maldonado made four starts for Southeast in 2009 but missed several games with a leg problem after transferring from the University of Arkansas, where he was a preferred walk-on in 2008.

Corey Porter

Maldonado then had to sit out all of 2010 with a back injury that required surgery before rebounding last season.

Shannon's luck has been even worse. He missed most of his first three seasons at Southeast due to three ACL injuries that required surgery. He bounced back last year before going down again recently.

"It's a shame for those two guys," said Southeast coach Tony Samuel, who isn't sure if either of the fifth-year seniors will be able to receive a final season of eligibility from the NCAA.

Fortunately for the Redhawks, offensive line is one of their deeper positions. Four players besides the injured duo received starting assignments last year.

Two of those are senior mainstays Evan Conrad at tackle and Colt McCauley at guard. Both started all 11 games last year, and Conrad has made 32 consecutive starts.

Senior Pete Niggemann started four games at guard before being slowed by injury. Sophomore Ben Schmidt made two starts at tackle when Conrad moved to guard.

Niggemann and Schmidt join Conrad and McCauley at No. 1 on the depth chart, along with sophomore center Corey Porter.

Porter, from Sikeston, Mo., played in six games as a true freshman last season, and Samuel said he has improved considerably.

"He'll do a good job," Samuel said. "He's lost some weight. He's got his mobility."

Samuel believes several other linemen also are capable of providing solid play.

"We've got some depth there," he said.

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