Football family

A brotherhood for NPHS junior

Stephanie Domingo, Staff Writer

Most people at North Platte High School have participated in a sport, whether it was on a team, for gym class, or just for fun. There are a lot of people who have a passion for being on a team without making a career of it.

Junior Kenneth Smith is a linebacker and running back for the Bulldogs. His passion for football all began when his sister’s ex-boyfriend introduced him to football at a young age. “My mindset going into a game is practice as well as concentration; doing my best at 110%,” Smith said.

My mindset going into a game is practice as well as concentration; doing my best at 110%”

— Kenneth Smith

My mindset going into a game is practice as well as concentration; doing my best at 110%[/pullquote]When Smith was younger, he wanted to turn his love for football into a career. However, he has since suffered two concussions. The worst one was at a game in Kearney during his freshman year, where a CAT scan showed that he has a cyst on his brain. “I’m going to finish out football in high school, but [pursuing football is] not something I want to have long-term injuries for,” Smith said. After the Kearney concussion, Smith could not play any sports for the rest of freshman year. 

Football has helped Smith by being a positive tension release. As a child, his dad was never around, so he felt it helped with his anger and was encouraged to continue. “You can’t have a brotherhood without a father-figure,” Smith said. “Those coaches play that role to help us drive to do good.”

Smith considers his teammates as family. He looks up to the coaches, who push everyone to do their very best on the field. “Being able to have people that I call family while they [get] to watch me score my first time was pretty nice,” Smith said.

Smith and his team have to practice hard on a regular basis to stay fit enough to keep playing. Going to sleep early while having a balance plays a big role in how well they perform. “You have to fight for your position,” Smith said. “That’s how it should be, anyways.”