• John Macon Gillespie

Smith Looking To Keep Train Rolling

Players like 2019 center Louis Paul Smith are not usually the ones fans flock to first to get autographs or pictures taken with them. However, without Smith and his fellow offensive linemen, the D’Iberville Warriors might not be 2-0 to start the year.

The Warriors are in the midst of a torrid hot streak so far offensively. They have scored 42 and 49 points against Tylertown and Picayune, respectively. They also average 308 rushing yards per game, thanks in large part to experience from the big men up front.

“The O-Line is an extremely special group,” Smith told SES Mississippi. “All five linemen are seniors and have started for two or more years. Our O-Line coach is fantastic and has coached us to be super physical and technically sound. Everyday we approach practice as a chance to get better, which has allowed us to pick up this new offense quickly. I love playing with them because I know they’ll get the job done.”

If you have followed SES Mississippi coverage the last two years, chances are, you have probably heard of this guy before. He was the winner of the Primetime Award as a sophomore in 2016 and a member of this year’s Elite 10. Throw in a pair of All-SES First Team honors as well.

Smith is the definition of a true student-athlete. The numbers speak for themselves: a 4.0 GPA and an ACT score of 30. He would be the first to tell you that the student has to come first before the athlete.

“My mother is a teacher, so it’s been instilled in me that your education is going to carry you in life, not athletics. So when people recognize my dedication on the field as well as in the classroom, it means a lot to me. It’s something I pride myself in,” Smith said.

When he isn’t studying the books or learning how to play the guitar, he and his fellow linemen are working hard on mastering a new offensive concept. The Warriors have moved away from the Wing-T and embraced the zone. So far, it has been a well oiled machine.

“Our players feel more comfortable running it,” Smith said. “We have a team mentality on our offense where we play for each other, not as individuals. Another thing that’s helped us perform better is the chemistry between the backs and the offense line. We open the holes and the backs hit them as hard as they can.”

That offense will be up against one of the state’s best defensive coaching staffs from Madison Central this Friday. The Jags will make the three hour trip down to the coast for this game. It is a place with a passionate fanbase and overwhelming support.

“D’Iberville is a football town and always will be,” Smith said. “When you get the chance to represent a community built on football and a program that has facilitated some of the greatest players in the state, you know you better show out. Even when times get tough, the community never stops their support. They’ll always be there win or lose. That’s what makes Warrior football so special.”

In his final year before dawning his team’s same colors at Southern Miss, Smith has one mission.

“I want our senior year to be marked as one of the best in high school football,” Smith said.

#DIberville #JaredRedding #Elite10

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