The name Larry Carwell I and Campbell Memorial High School go hand in hand when you talk about the Red Devil gridders that have gone on to play professionally in the National Football League, yet never forgot their roots and their alma mater.
One of the greatest players to ever lace up a pair of spikes for Head Coach John Knapick, he was one of the fleetest backs that the area has ever seen. A multi-sport athlete scholastically, he also played baseball, basketball and participated on the track and field squad, but it was his exploits on the gridiron that made him a household name locally in the decade of the 60's, and earned him a scholarship to Iowa State University.
Born in Vada, GA. on August 5,1944, he is a 1963 graduate of CMHS where he earned 11 letters overall (four in football, three each in basketball and baseball and another in track). He helped the Red Devils remain a grid power under Knapick's direction, being named to the All-Steel Valley First-Team during both his junior and senior seasons. Two games that Carwell will be most remembered are a 52-0 romp of Austintown Fitch, and a 366 win over Brookfield in which he tallied three times each game from his tailback slot.
He attended Iowa State and played for the Cyclones, but was moved from his familiar tailback slot to the defensive secondary, a move that four years later would pave his way into professional football. He had a double major (Physical Education and Sociology), and earned four letters for the Cyclones. He posted 71 unassisted and 56 assisted tackles as a collegian (127 total hits), recovering six fumbles and registering nine pass breakups.
He later played professionally with both the Houston Oilers and Boston Patriots (currently the New England Patriots), and according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistics bureau of the National Football League, he played in 74 games (all as a defensive back) as a professional, had 14 interceptions (of which two were returned for touchdowns' one a 68-yard touchdown with the Oilers and the other a 71-yarder with the Patriots), had 49 punt returns (an average of 9.7 per return) and 25 kickoff returns (an average of 22.3 per return) as well. His special teams play was exceeded only by his play as a defensive back. As luck would have it, he recorded another touchdown on a blocked field goal in 1972 while with the Patriots, scoring three touchdowns as a professional.
He was the Oilers' third-round draft pick (their fifth selection overall) in the 1967 A.F.L. Draft.
When his playing days were completed, he became a member of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), a post that he held for almost 15 years. However, in 1983, while aboard a U.S. helicopter bound for the Bahamas, to stop the flow of marijuana and cocaine into the United States from Latin America, he was one of five missing persons lost at sea when the helicopter crashed while on its way to its final destination.
Honored tonight posthumously, his wife is the former Lural Jordan, and he is the father of two children, Larry Neil. Jr., and Shauntel Denise.