Smith sparkles in muddy victory

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Brookhaven senior running back Semmie Smith’s athletic abilitycame through last Friday night for the Panthers. Brookhaven ralliedfrom a 12-point, second-quarter deficit to beat Region 3-5Aarchrival McComb 28-12 on a rain-soaked King Field.

Battling through the mud and rain, Smith rushed the football 14times for 188 yards and scored 3 touchdowns for the Panthers (5-4,3-3).

For his accomplishments, Smith has been named The DAILY LEADER’sOffensive Player of the Week.

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“Every time I get (honor), I feel real good,” said Smith Mondayafternoon in the Panther field house.

Brookhaven head football coach Tucker Peavy said Smith playedhard in last week’s win. “Semmie ran hard. He did a good jobhanging onto the football in muddy conditions. He did a good jobblocking when he needed to.”

Smith explained how he manages to hold onto the football whileplaying on wet field conditions.

“I keep it close to my body,” explained Smith. “Between the palmof my hand and in the fold of my shoulder.”

Smith said he gets a lot of help from the Panther offensiveline. Starting on the line are Sam Ballard and Derrick Henderson attackle, Mitch Case at center, Stone Underwood and Tameus Hooker atguard and Nick Peavey at tight end.

Smith talked about keeping his balance while trying to run onthe muddy football fields. “I try not to cut too much and run alittle straighter. When I do cut, I try to make sure I plant myfoot good then cut.”

Last week’s big region win over McComb was a good one for Smithand his teammates. “We played a real good game. Our enthusiasm wasstrong. Our consistency was the key in the game.”

When asked about the team’s goals, Smith replied, “We always goas high as we can go. We have come together as a team.”

Brookhaven finishes the regular season Friday at King Fieldhosting region foe Forest Hill. It is also Senior Night for theplayers.

“Forest Hill is a pretty good team,” added Smith. “We arelooking forward to playing them like any other game.”

When asked about Coach Peavey’s influence on him and histeammates, Smith replied, “Coach Peavey tries to get us to bebetter as a person. He teaches us about good character and bringingthat character to the football field.”

With the two come-from-behind wins the last two weeks, thePanther character is obvious.

“It’s getting better and better,” smiled Smith. “It is as strongas ever. But it can always get stronger.”

Smith said he is looking forward to running track this spring.He runs the 200 and 400-meter dashes and the 4×200 relay.

He is the 17-year-old son of Semmie and Kathleen Smith. Hisolder brother Mario (Smoke) Smith, a West Point graduate, playedsafety for the Cadets.

Smith said he is interested in criminal law and would like acareer in forensics. He also wants to play college football on somelevel.

In his free time, Smith likes to watch TV. His favorite NFL teamis Atlanta and his favorite player in San Diego All-Pro runningback LaDainian Tomlinson.