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Smith makes noise on defense

Antione Smith made his mark on offense last year as Loyd Star’sleading receiver. This year the multi-talented senior is makinglots of noise on defense.

Working at outside linebacker, Smith accounted for 2interceptions and 14 tackles in Loyd Star’s 56-3 homecoming romppast Madison St. Joseph. That performance earned him The DAILYLEADER’s Defensive Player of the Week honor.

Smith (5-11, 180) is a senior who enjoyed winning his firsthomecoming game at Loyd Star. The victory also gave the Hornets(3-5, 2-3) a chance at making the Class 2A state playoffs if theycan knock off Region 6-2A foe McLaurin Friday night on William E.”Sambo” Smith Field.

Loyd Star coach Ryan Ross said Smith has been showing steadyimprovement at linebacker. “Antione plays hard. He’s starting tocome on for us. He has a good nose for the football.”

Smith runs a 4.7 in the 40-yard dash. In the weight trainingroom, he bench presses 220 pounds. He squats with 380 andpowercleans 260.

Asked about playing outside linebacker, Smith said, “It’s a lotof fun. You can hit people hard and you won’t get in trouble forit.”

Smith said he enjoys blitzing on defense. “I like to blitzinside or outside.”

Loyd Star’s defensive unit includes David Fields at the otheroutside linebacker position, and T.J. Floyd and Andrew Rushing atinside linebacker.

On the defensive line are Clint Scott and Grant Britt at end andCody Lanham at nose guard. Tradareous Williams and Fred Clark workat cornerback. The safeties are Chris King and Marquis Hayes.

“This is about the best defense we’ve had since we went to theplayoffs in 2003,” said Smith. “If we keep playing like we didFriday night, we are going to make the playoffs. Our defense isimproving.”

Smith said Loyd Star defensive coordinator Josh Thibodeauxspends a lot of time preparing the unit for Friday night games. “Hegets us ready during the week and then he turns us loose.”

Looking to the future, Smith said he might play baseball in thespring. He’s a rightfielder.

He wants to attend Copiah-Lincoln Community College and become aboilermaker. He would like to play college football if theopportunity arises.

In his free time, he enjoys watching TV and seeing West Virginiaplay football on Saturdays. “They are a fast team and they playgood defense.”

On Sundays, Smith attends Ebeneezer M.B. Church. His favoriteNFL player is running back Marion Barber of the Dallas Cowboys.