Valdosta Daily Times

Breaking News:

Local Sports

October 7, 2013

Mr. Smith is ready for Winnersville

Wildcat Linebacker ready for the Classic

VALDOSTA — Valdosta High Wildcat middle linebacker Anthony Smith is ready to prove his mettle Friday night, ready to go toe to toe in the annual Winnersville Classic against the Lowndes High Vikings.

“Everyone says Lowndes' having a down year. I don’t like when people say that. They’re going to play as hard as they can and we are going to do the same,” said Smith.

Smith is a 17-year-old middle linebacker for the Wildcats and has been a starter since his sophomore season. Smith also started as linebacker for the Wildcat ninth-grade team.

Smith was born and raised in Valdosta and has been playing football since the age of 5. Born on Dec. 3, 1995, to Clarence and Contina Smith, Anthony has been a linebacker since he started playing football.

His father works for FedEx and his mother is a local social worker in the city. Both have been a motivational force for Smith on and off the field.

Smith has only played one other position outside of linebacker. At Valdosta Middle, Smith was a quarterback, but decided linebacker was the spot for him when he enrolled in Valdosta High.

Smith, in his opinion, is enjoying his best season thus far as a Wildcat, making several big plays for the defense, including a safety against Camden County earlier in the season.

Smith’s teammates have also noticed the linebacker’s growth on the field and as a leader, voting him team captain for the defense.

“When I was voted defensive captain, I felt like my teammates trusted me to lead them to a great year,” said Smith.

On the field, Smith plays with passion, determination and heart, which is exactly what you want from a leader of your team.

“I have a lot of heart. I’m always making noise and talking to the guys. I kind of wear my emotions on my sleeves; if I’m mad, I show it on the field,” added Smith.

Off the field, Smith is a student with goals to attend college and major in criminal justice.

He has a 3.2 grade point average and history is his favorite subject. When Smith is not at practice or playing in a game, he enjoys watching game film, television, sleeping and working out.

Smith was honored at the Wildcats homecoming game against Newton as homecoming king. When asked how that accomplishment felt, Smith said, “It was crazy. It was like a fairy tale really. Normally it’s the popular people who win, but I was a guy who just plays football and loves my school, and I won. It was a great feeling.”

Smith is deciding which college to attend, receiving offers to play linebacker at Kennesaw, Mercer and the University of Alabama Birmingham.

While getting to know Anthony Smith, he shared a few of his favorite things. His favorite color is blue, favorite food is ribs, favorite movie is the "Shawshank Redemption" and his favorite book is "Crispus Attucks."

Smith’s favorite athlete is Dont’a Hightower, a linebacker for the New England Patriots.

“He (Hightower) is a lot like me. He started off as an outside linebacker and moved inside later in his career. He is an explosive player and someone I try to emulate when I play. I watched him at Alabama and have watched ever since,” said Smith.

He is a fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Dallas Cowboys.

In addition to Hightower, Smith learned a lot from Jonathan Hester, an ex-VHS linebacker who took Smith under his wing once he arrived at VHS.

“He was a great player and taught me a lot,” said Smith.

As the Wildcats prepare for the Winnersville Classic, they will focus on getting a win, as they did two years ago in the final minute of a game no one will ever forget.

Smith is ready to play in his last Winnersville Classic, a game that has more history than any high school rivalry in South Georgia.

“Being my last one, it’s going to be emotional for me, and I am going to leave it all out on the field,” said Smith.

The Wildcats will kick off against the Lowndes Vikings, 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, Martin Stadium.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • rachel.jpg Factor X Fitness holds Fitness Classic

    South Georgia is on the verge of muscling its way back into the national bodybuilding scene, ending a lengthy absence.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • No. 21 Blazer Softball faces Lee in regular season finale

    Expect Blazer Nation to be out at Steel's Diamond at Blazer Park in full force today and Saturday to watch their No. 21 Valdosta State softball team take on the Lee Lady Flames in the final series of the 2014 regular season.

    April 18, 2014

  • VHSsigning.jpg Goals Achieved

    The Valdosta High Wildcats hosted a scholarship signing ceremony for senior soccer player Dale Fulton Kent on Thursday afternoon in the schools’ Performing Arts Center.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • MLS.jpg Atlanta lands MLS expansion team for 2017

    Arthur Blank donned traditional soccer garb to mark his newest venture — an MLS team for Atlanta.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blazers try to garner momentum in GSC finale

    Valdosta State snapped its six-game losing streak a week ago. Now the Blazers are hoping to wrap up its Gulf South Conference schedule with some momentum ahead of next month’s conference tournament.

    April 17, 2014

  • Blazer barrage downs No. 23 Georgia College

    Valdosta State unleashed a season-high 19 hits and tied a season-best in runs as the Blazers defeated No. 23 Georgia College 15-8 in non-conference baseball action at John Kurtz Field Wednesday evening.

    April 17, 2014

  • 2014 Jump.jpg Showtime in the Down Under

    Just a junior in high school, Valwood’s Chandler Cargile has already seen things that most people don’t get to experience in a lifetime. Cargile recently returned to Lake Park from Mulwala, Australia, where he competed in the Barefoot Water Ski World Championships. The competition hosted participants from 15 countries and lasted for two weeks last month.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Valdosta State tennis gears up for GSC Tournament

    The Valdosta State men's and women's tennis teams are set to compete against the rest of the league in the Gulf South Conference Tournament, scheduled to be played this week in Montgomery, Ala. for the seventh straight season.

    April 17, 2014

  • Kaleb Whitfield against Crisp.jpg No Dome for Wildcats in Corky Kell Classic

    Valdosta High’s chance of playing in the Georgia Dome this year now depends on reaching the state championship game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140416-SGMC_Award002.jpg SGMC earns VISTA Award

    South Georgia Medical Center was awarded Wednesday with an American Society for Healthcare Engineering Vista Award.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

Blazers Blog