Catasauqua Press

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Smith looks to keep moving forward

Thursday, January 9, 2020 by Jeff Moeller Special to the Press in Sports

During his current senior season, Jacob Smith has come to cherish his moments on the football field and basketball court.

When the football season began, Smith didn’t envision being there. In the summer, he initially decided not to go out for the team. Smith left the school before Thanksgiving last year for Allentown Central Catholic and returned shortly after Christmas.

A few weeks into the season, Smith changed his mind. He finished the season seeing time at quarterback, running back, and wide receiver before his season was cut short due to a torn meniscus in the final regular season game against Northwestern.

“I made my mind up not to go out for football,” said Smith. “But I talked to the coaches about halfway through the season and changed my mind. I tried to do as much as I could.

“When I got hurt, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to play in the Turkey Day game, and basketball was up in the air. At first, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to play until the middle of January.”

In spite of his short stay with football, Smith made an impression.

“Jacob Smith did a lot of good things for us,” said Roughies’ head football coach Mike McClarin. “He is a hard-nosed kid who will do whatever needs to be done. He gave us what he could, and he helped some of the younger players come along.”

Like his recent trend, Smith came back sooner than expected, and he has been in the Roughies’ rotation. A tri-captain, Smith played in seven of the team’s first nine games and has been their sixth man.

He has strived to make the most of every situation.

“Smith is a hard worker and selfless,” said Roughies head boys’ basketball coach Eric Snyder. “He is a true team players and hustler. Smith will do whatever it takes to win. He has been a leader by example and always is improving.

“He is the type of player who always gives his best out there.”

Smith is confident that he has played to his capabilities.

“My knee is pretty good,” he said. I’m still not jumping like I was, but I feel about 95-percent back. We did a lot of running during our break, and that has helped me.

“Basketball always has been a second sport for me and it really has become a bigger part of me. We all believe we can go pretty far this year and we’re looking forward to the second half of the season.”

Next fall, Smith is hopeful that he can play football at Moravian College and pursue a degree in computer science toward a software engineer career.

“I want to try out as a wide receiver and I know I can handle it,” he said. “Being a quarterback wasn’t it for me. I am looking forward to see what I can do.”

He credits his mother, Laurie Reinhard, and former coach Brian Monahan for both being steady forces in his life.

“My mom has been there for me and she has been a huge influence,” said Smith. “Brian Monahan has helped me over the years and talked me into coming back for football.

“Now I just have to keep moving forward.”

There is a good chance Smith will, and he will remember all of his steps along the way.