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Scoop Smith, Woodland Hills Not Lacking Confidence



Nebraska target and Woodland Hills sophomore wide receiver Scoop Smith

TURTLE CREEK, Pa. — Woodland Hills sophomore wide receiver and Nebraska target Scoop Smith had an incredible game Friday night in the 27-0 win against rival Gateway at the Wolvarena.

Smith had three scores in the first half, cutting through the Gators defense with relative ease and putting the game away early on.

He opened the scoring late in the first quarter, taking a pass from sophomore quarterback Cam Walter 28-yards and broke tackles from Gateway defensive players for the touchdown. Smith caught another pass from Walter on the next drive in the second quarter for a 35-yard score to put the Wolverines up 13-0.

Woodland Hills then attempted a trick play to catch out the Gateway defense on the next drive. The play started in wildcat and then switched hands twice, before junior wide receiver Amere Brown threw it to Smith on the right side of the field. The play worked as Smith ran it 49-yards for the score, putting Woodland Hills up 20-0.

“It’s big,” Smith said on the win. “They’ve been talking. Not them, but like, everybody been talking like, ‘We’re gonna lose. We’re bad.’ Just threw that out the window, blocked it out, stayed focused and got the win. Proud of my guys.”

The Wolverines had a difficult home opener against rival Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings last Friday. The Vikings, with a number of future Division I players, destroyed the Wolverines defense en route to a 43-7 win.

Smith said that he and the team came to practice ready to go this past week, let the past loss go behind them and focused on Gateway.

“It was just everybody was locked in,” Smith said. “We know we shouldn’t have lost like that and we don’t ever want to lose like that again. Everybody was locked in. Came to practice all four days last week, ready to go. I’m actually hoping we do that again next week.”

With his great play, Smith has already received interest from Division I schools. Nebraska became the first school to offer him and then UNLV and Toledo also offered Smith this summer, peaking interest in from WPIAL fans in what he can do this season.

The Cornhuskers fanbase is known for their loyalty and dedication to their football team and Smith has dealt with it early into his high school career.

“Nebraska, their fan base is crazy,” Smith said. “I get like emails and text messages on Twitter from their fanbase, but they definitely stay in contact.”

This win marks the first for new Woodland Hills head coach Brian Tarrant. He took over for Tim Bostard, who served at the helm for the previous six seasons.

Smith hopes that this win can build confidence in the team going forward. With his work in the offseason on improving his body mobility and getting out of breaks faster, expect to see Smith leading this Wolverines squad to many wins in 2023.

“Just keep doing what we’re doing.” Smith said. “Stay focused, everybody buying in and hopefully we keep winning.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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