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Football: Long Beach Poly's John Smith is the standard for excellence

September 01, 2013|By Eric Sondheimer

 

If any player wants to be considered best in Southern California, pay attention to what Long Beach Poly's John Smith does. He'll be the standard if you expect to be No. 1.

In his season opener against Crenshaw, Smith caught five passes for 78 yards. He also ran three times for 37 yards. He had a 32-yard kickoff return. He had punt returns of 22 and 38 yards. He also was a safety on defense. Poly won, 28-15.

"Everyone gives Poly their best game, and we knew Crenshaw would be tough," he said. "The difference is we were more focused. When stuff hit the fan, we didn't get down on each other. We kept playing hard, and that's why we won."

On his punts and kickoff returns, Smith said, "I approach every return with the mentality that I have to take it to the house. That's my job. Plays like that are huge momentum swings. If I can break a few _ boom, boom, boom _ we score. I expect to do that every game."

Next up for the Jackrabbits is a Friday game against Servite at Cerritos College.

Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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