Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports

November 27, 2013

Ithaca QB Smith is Division 5-6 Player of Year

EAST LANSING (AP) — To say that Travis Smith has had a prolific prep career is a bit of an understatement.

To put it properly, it would be safe to say that he’s had a perfect career.

In his third year as the starting quarterback for the Ithaca High School football team, Smith has guided the Yellowjackets to 41 straight victories and two state titles. The 6-foot-3 signal caller will lead Ithaca into its fourth straight Division 6 state final Friday when it takes on Clinton at Ford Field.

Through three years, the future Toledo Rocket has completed 468-of-691 passes for 7,539 yards and a state-record 100 touchdown passes versus 16 interceptions. He also has run for 2,372 yards on 350 carries and found pay dirt 48 times.

Considering his flawless body of work through the years, Smith has earned the Player of the Year award in Division 5-6 from The Associated Press.

“It really couldn’t have gone any better. It’s been a great ride,” said Smith, who started playing organized football in the fifth grade. “When I’m out there, I try to take what the defense is giving me and manage the game. I’m a pocket passer who can run.”

Smith, who also was named MLive.com’s first Michigan player of the year, came up to the varsity as a freshman and watched Alex Niznak lead the Yellowjackets to a state title in 2010. After Niznak graduated and moved on to Central Michigan, it became Smith’s team, and all he has done is win.

“He’s 40-0 as a starter for us. That’s pretty good,” chuckled Ithaca head coach Terry Hessbrook. “He’s put in endless hours working on his mechanics and footwork. For us, he’s our coach on the field. If we have something called that doesn’t look right, he makes the change at the line to something that will work.”

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