Jared Smith came close to setting Pewamo-Westphalia’s single-game school record for rushing yards on a few occasions a year ago.
The junior running back was glad to have another shot this year.
“Last year, I always hoped to get it but never had the chance to completely get it,” Smith said. “This year when I had the opportunity it was a great feeling to get it.”
Smith’s 343-yard rushing performance on 17 carries in a Week 5 victory over Fulton surpassed the old school record of 322 yards that was set by Dan Weber in the early 1970s. Weber is the father of former P-W coach and current assistant Brad Weber.
“It was pretty interesting because Brad was talking to me on the headset,” P-W coach Jeremy Miller said. “When (Jared) got close to the record, he was kind of like, alright, he needs 10 more or whatever. It was a nice little side story. They were all really into it and wanted him to break the record too.”
That recent record-setting performance has been part of another strong season for Smith, who had 28 touchdowns and led the area with a P-W single-season school record of 2,140 rushing yards last fall.
The 6-foot, 205-pound Smith is ahead of the pace he had a year ago and entered Friday with an area-best 1,145 yards and 20 touchdowns and has at least four more games to add to those totals. He has produced those big numbers despite not playing a full game this season with the Division 7 No. 5-ranked Pirates having rolled past their competition in the CMAC.
Smith added 10 pounds in the offseason and said his training and a strong offensive line have helped him put together another big season.
“When you put on more muscle and get a little stronger, you can run harder,” Smith said. “I’ve been breaking more tackles this year compared to last year so it has made a pretty big difference.”
But it’s more than Smith’s physical characteristics that have Miller impressed. He also raved about Smith’s work ethic and isn’t surprised to see him putting up big numbers again.
“I’m not surprised at all because I’m around him all the time and saw the work he put in in the offseason,” Miller said. “He was at every single thing. If there was anything football related, he was there. He was at every weight lifting session.
‘I knew and had a good idea that he was going to have a season like this. He just keeps improving every day and in practice he just seems to get better and better.”
Contact Brian Calloway at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.