The past two seasons, Greenbrier has had the luxury of fielding a pair of the area's premier linebackers. Erik Smith and Reggie Rice were also standouts on the offensive side of the ball.
Rice was the team's top rusher from his tailback spot, while Smith was his lead blocker as the team's fullback. Both players had the opportunity to sign scholarships to continue their football careers on the college level.
Smith signed to play at NCAA D-II power Catawba College (North Carolina), and his former teammate selected The Citadel in Charleston, S.C.
Catawba is 3-0 and ranked No. 21 in the NCAA D-II poll. Smith, a 6-foot, 235-pound freshman will redshirt this season. His situation is different from most freshman redshirts. Smith has the size and strength to be an immediate impact player for the Indians.
A simple paperwork mix up, however, delayed his eligibility and caused the school's coaching staff to redshirt him this season. He is listed as a RB/LB, but said he is mainly working as a fullback in practice. The redshirt designation means that Smith will have four years of eligibility beginning next season.
Rice also will redshirt this season. He is the perfect candidate for a redshirt because his senior season was cut short because of some off-the-field troubles. Rice could certainly use the year to get acclimated to life at a military school.
The Bulldogs play in the tough Southern Conference, so Rice can use this season to get bigger and stronger to prepare for the challenge of facing some of the finest NCAA Division I-AA football players in the nation.
If you do not hear much from Smith and Rice this year, don't worry. Hopefully they will give me plenty to report on next season.
My apologies. In the preseason, I commented that the 2006 Greenbrier football team would be able to score, but they likely would not be able to stop anyone. Well, although I love to eat, crow would not be my first choice.
I admit the 'Pack's defense proved me wrong on the night of Sept. 22. Quarterback Nick Richards scored the game-winning touchdown and Freddie Jones racked up more than 300 all-purpose yards, but it was the 'Pack defense that put them in position to win. Greenbrier forced Evans into three consecutive "three and outs" in the fourth quarter.
So, with foot firmly planted in mouth, my apologies to the "Greenbrier D." Terrific job, guys. Keep up the good work.
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