A terrific 2012-13 athletic school year for Colton Smith got even better Wednesday.
After entering his senior season as Eastside’s starting placekicker, Smith went on to break a school record with a 45-yard field goal, make every extra point he attempted and was selected as a participant in the East-West All-Star game.
All that added up to Smith being the first kicker in coach Rick Hurst’s tenure at Eastside to sign with a college. The two-year starting kicker signed with Maryville College Wednesday.
“I’m excited,” Smith said. “It’s a good opportunity for me to represent Eastside High School and my family.”
Smith chose the Maryville, Tenn., school for its success in football, its academic prowess and its small student body. The Division III athletic institution has just under 1,000 students, providing Smith with an environment that fits him best, socially.
“I like the fact it was really compact and everyone knows each other,” Smith said. “The reason I chose Maryville was the students made me feel welcome, and socially, I felt like it could better me, as well as academically.”
Smith is planning on going from Maryville to medical school in hopes of studying cardiology and neurology, and he feels the small Tennessee school will be a great place to do that. Maryville has sent former students to schools such as Johns Hopkins, Duke and Vanderbilt.
“It was where I could go to pursue my goals of being a doctor,” said Smith, who chose Maryville over schools ranging from bigger Division I universities to other small Division III colleges.
Along with studying pre-med courses, Smith will also handle place kicking and kickoffs for the Colts’ football team, something he has done at Eastside since his freshman year.
While he kicked a little during some Eagles’ blowout games his first two years at Eastside, Smith was thrust into the starting role before his junior year. Eastside’s starter at the time, Cody Sandler, went down with a leg injury during summer workouts, and Hurst went with Smith as the starter.
“Colton has worked extremely hard,” Hurst said. “Colton got pressed into duty as a junior and had a great year last year. We were expecting great things from him last fall and we got it.”