Written by Michael Florio Thursday, 03 July 2014 00:00
Sewanhaka High School’s football standout Elijah Smith is taking his talents to Monroe College after receiving a partial scholarship for this coming fall.
Smith’s electric speed and versatile play as a slot wide receiver and defensive back for the Indians, as well as punter and punt returner, helped catch the eye of those at Monroe College.
To succeed at the college level, the 5-foot-10, 165-pound Smith says he has to continue to hit the weight room in order to get bigger and “put more meat on my bones.”
Head Coach George Kasimatis believes Smith’s explosive style of play will translate to the college level.
“He’s going to get bigger, faster and stronger and his new coach is very excited to have him,” he said. “They love his versatility and that they could potentially use him on either side of the ball.”
Smith, who won All-Conference and All-County for his play this season, is excited to be joining Monroe College and while he does not have a preference, he plans to be used as a receiver in the slot.
“I spoke to my new coach and he said he loves what I can do with the ball in my hands,” he said.
Smith, a natural defensive back, says he would like to play both sides of the ball, as well as special teams, to do whatever it takes to help his team win. As a defensive back, Smith is physical and looks to intimidate opposing receivers with his style of play. As a receiver, Smith has good hands and the speed to take one the distance at any moment, Kasimatis said.
Kasimatis will certainly miss Smith’s help both on the field and as a leader in the locker room. Players don’t always want to tell the coach if they are having an issue or don’t understand something, but they knew they could go to Smith, he said.
“He’s a good kid and a good leader,” Kasimatis said. “He served as our captain and was a leader to the boys.”
While Smith is excited to play at Monroe College, this is just stepping stone in his football career. Smith plans on attending Monroe for a year or two, to hone his skills and grades, before transferring to a bigger program. Smith plans to follow in the steps of one of Kasimatis’ former players, Kareem Are. Are, a 2012 Sewanhaka graduate, played at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas, before transferring in
January to Florida State University. It’s not clear Smith’s path will go in a similar direction, but his father is proud already.
“He has been playing football since he’s seven years old and has worked so hard and progressed so well, I am extremely proud,” said Paul Smith.