TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City Central may have lost three-year starting quarterback Tobin Schwannecke to graduation, but the Trojans gained a possible replacement this week.
Former Ithaca quarterback and defensive back Peyton Smith said he enrolled at TC Central on Wednesday. His parents moved to Traverse City.
Smith threw for almost 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns while rushing for 545 yards and another six TDs in five starts after Brady Hessbrook was lost for the season with a knee injury against Saginaw Nouvel. He started at wide receiver and cornerback before Hessbrook’s injury.
“You don’t expect anything like this to happen,” TC Central head coach Eric Schugars said. “We live in a beautiful area, eh?”
Smith (6-3, 175), who will be a senior next season, has drawn recruiting interest from Michigan State, Boston College and most Mid-American Conference and Ivy League teams.
The Yellowjackets posted a 4-1 record with Smith at QB, the only setback a 50-33 pre-district loss to Millington in the Division 6 playoffs. That decision snapped a streak of nine straight years Ithaca had won at least three postseason contests.
Schugars said Smith will be a in quarterback competition with senior Mitch Stachnik, junior Ryan Royston and sophomore Josh Burnham. Schugars added that the spread offense run by Tim Odette and Mike Gle is enticing to players.
“What those guys do is attractive,” Schugars said. “It sure is fun to watch.”
Smith also plays point guard in basketball and is a 3.95 GPA student.
Smith makes at least the second high-profile player to transfer to Central this summer, with the Trojan cross country and track programs picking up Alpena all-state runnner Drew Seabase.
Seabase, who will be a junior next season, placed 14th in the Division cross country finals last season and was runner-up in the Big North Conference finals. He took sixth in the BNC as a freshman.
In track and field, Seabase placed 15th in the state and third in the BNC in the 800. He took fourth in both the 1,600 and 3,200 in the Big North and his 3,200 relay team was undefeated for the season before placing 10th in the Division 1 state finals.