Claim to fame: In just his first season on varsity, after playing on the freshman team last year, Smith has emerged as the Knights’ (2-4, 2-1 8-5A) best option at quarterback. A starter since the first district game — a 7-0 upset of Belton — Smith beat out the more experienced Damion May with his poise and ability to make plays without a lot of mistakes.
What’s it been like for you to be the starting quarterback on varsity as just a sophomore?
“To me, it’s gaining a spot. We started out in the spring with two positions open and two quarterbacks fighting for the spot and I just got it.”
What do you think you did to earn that spot?
“I don’t think I really did anything special, I just played football, knew what I was supposed to be doing, and didn’t do anything out of proportion, kept everything simple.”
How does it feel to be that person in this offense running the show?
“It feels good. I’m going to be here for two more years, and I plan on being the leader of the team.”
What has been the best moment of the season so far for you?
“I’d have to say our homecoming game (the 7-0 win over Belton), that was pretty exciting.”
Last week was the double-overtime thriller (25-22 win) over Ellison. What was that like for you?
“It was really exciting. There were a whole lot of emotions in there, but like I said last week, we just had to keep our composure and play through the game.”
What was it like going through the 0-3 start to the season?
“It was tough; once again we were going through the quarterback changes — coming in and out, in and out, it was hard to get into your zone. So that was the three-game tough part of the season?
What do you/Harker Heights need to do to break out of the six-year playoff drought?
“We have to stay focused. Lately, Heights has been off track and not focused as I think we should be. So if we stay focused I think we can get the job done.”
At 15, you don’t even have your driver’s permit yet, so how can you drive this team to where it’s trying to get to?
“I’m looking forward to (the challenge). I think that I could, and I’m looking forward to the next two years as the team leader and taking us somewhere far.”
How do you handle that leadership role as a sophomore?
“At first it’s hard, but in football, the better you play, the leadership will just come to you as a role and the players will respect you more, and that’s what’s been happening over the last few weeks.”
What is your best attribute on field?
“I’m still learning everything, but I’d say my best attribute is my all-around (play).”
Who do you model your game after?
“I like how Cam Newton stays in the pocket, and I also like how RGIII has the option to run but he can also pass.”
What’s it like to see a guy like Griffin, who grew up in the same area as you, doing things at such a high level?
“I’m glad for him that he grew up (around here) and made it that far. I’m just looking to do the same thing.”
So, do you idolize players like Griffin?
“I look at players that are good, but I’ve always thought that if you want to be a great player yourself, you shouldn’t want to be somebody else.”
Then what’s something that makes you unique?
“I was born in Okinawa, Japan. I’m allergic to cheese. Um, and I’m (partially) Samoan.”
Contact Alex Byington at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7566