About this series
Coming up with a short list and then ranking the 10 greatest athletes in the history of each YAIAA high school was a daunting task. For sure, there is no scientific approach. But after two years of interviews, research and roundtable discussions, we are presenting as fair an attempt as possible to create an objective list on a decidedly subjective topic.
OUR CRITERIA: 1. The only accomplishments considered were those achieved while competing in high school varsity athletics. If an athlete earned a college scholarship, that was also factored in. 2. Accomplishments outside the setting of high school varsity sports and accomplishments after high school were not taken into account. 3. Athletes who attended more than one local high school were only evaluated at the school where they had the most varsity success. 4. Female athletes were rated by how they dominated their own sports not how they would fare going head-to-head against male athletes.

Your turn
If you d like to comment or offer a differing opinion on this list, we d love to hear from you. Each Sunday, we ll present your feedback on opinions on page 2 of the York Sunday News sports section - The Rundown. E-mail your thoughts to Sports Editor Chris Otto at cotto@ydr.com or mail them to: Greatest Athletes, c/o Chris Otto, 1891 Loucks Road, York 17408.

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Rarely does Tracy Smith take the time to put all of his stunning life adventures in perspective.

Seems like there's still too many things yet to do.

Like raising his 3-year-old son and running one company and starting another and...

The Dallastown High graduate has come a long way from a humbling construction job after college.

"It's been good. It's really been good," Smith, 42, said about a life that has taken him all over the world. "The days are so busy and I always look forward to see what I can do next."

And yet so much already has happened to the football star since he left Dallastown in 1983.

THEN: In 1982, as a senior for the Wildcats, Tracy Smith had a 317-yard, five-touchdown game against Red Lion.
THEN: In 1982, as a senior for the Wildcats, Tracy Smith had a 317-yard, five-touchdown game against Red Lion. (Submitted)

The compact and powerful runner (5-foot-8, 220 pounds) starred at Duke University on the football field (the team's leading rusher as a junior) and in the classroom (a few credits shy of a triple major in history, political science and public policy studies).

He always, though, was about so much more than sports.

He passed on tryouts with the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots for a summer studying at Cambridge University in England.

He earned a master's degree in international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.

He worked for a U.S. senator.

His big break, though, came in landing a job with a large defense contractor. His adventures began with a trip to the far reaches of far-away Kazakhstan to help the Russian government disarm intercontinental ballistic missiles.

That eventually led him to the CIA.

"In college, the agency seemed romantic, I don't know," Smith said with a laugh. "It was traveling and living overseas."

His first international assignment was in Budapest, Hungary in 1999.

There, he met his future wife (a former UCLA soccer player), who was doing visa work for the state department.

He proposed on a ferris wheel in London two years later and they were married in Hallam.

Adventures?

The couple attended Christmas Mass on a Jordanian mountain

where Moses is presumed to be buried.

They honeymooned along Italy's Amalfi Coast. They vacationed on the Turkish side of Cyprus. They scuba dived in the Red Sea.

They camped in the Wadi Rum Desert, popularized by Lawrence of Arabia. "I never saw so many stars at night," Smith said. "I didn't know there were that many in the sky."

Of course, there was work to do. In Hungary he tracked down nuclear material smugglers. In Baghdad he was shot at while looking for weapons of mass destruction.

He visited more than 20 countries, logging about 250,000 air miles in two years.

And life has kept firing fast since returning to the U.S.

He left the CIA, welcomed baby boy Alexander into the world and moved his family to Monterey, Calif., last September.

He also started his own defense contracting business that has five offices, including one in Vienna, Austria.

Now he's planning to create a nonprofit company dealing with veterinary medical support in Africa.

Maybe the most important thing, though, is that working from home provides for long lunches and long ocean walks each day with his wife. And more time with his son. And the flexibility to reconnect regularly with his mother when she flies out from Dallastown.

"I probably should work more than I do," he said with another laugh.

Always, it seems, so much more yet to do.