When Brett Smith was a kid, he dreamed of leading the Delone Catholic High Squires to supremacy.
Watching his two older sisters excel in sports at Delone fueled the young Smith to work hard and take the necessary steps to make sure that, when he got to Delone, he could help lead the teams he played for as far as possible.
This year as a senior, and three-year starting quarterback, Smith led the Squires to a level of success that they had never experienced on the football field in school history, including a District 3 Class A title and a trip to the PIAA Class A quarterfinals before falling to Bellwood-Antis in double overtime.
For Smith, who will play baseball in college at Bucknell University, it was an end to an extremely successful year, one which earned him the All-Area Football Player of the Year award.
He finished the season with 1,153 yards passing and 16 touchdowns and, on the ground, he finished with 440 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. He also had a standout year defensively, finishing with eight interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown to seal the District 3 title for Delone over Steelton-Highspire.
"We always set the goal of making it as far as we did," Smith said. "We knew that we were capable of being good. We just had to fill in a few holes to see how it would work. ... We wanted to make it to districts and, once you get there, anything can happen. We were trying to win every game we could and
"The question marks were definitely filled at fullback and with our line," Smith added. "They really stepped up. Our line really stepped up this year and they really brought us the district championship."
Early in the season, it did not appear the Squires would make a district appearance after they fell to 1-2. something that has not happened for Delone football for a while.
"As a team, we had a practice on Monday after we fell to 1-2 and we had a team-only meeting, just the varsity guys," Smith said. "We said as a team we need to step up. We are better than this. We know we are. We just have to work harder in practice and make sure we were ready to perform on Fridays."
Delone then went on a season-defining run by winning eight of nine to earn the District 3 Class A title and a trip to oppose Bellwood-Antis in Altoona.
"I felt like we had a good spurt there against York Suburban and Biglerville in weeks four and five," Smith said. "Things started to fall into place a bit. We kind of got off tracks with Bermudian (Springs), but then we got back on the tracks the next week. Whenever we needed to, we got back on the track."
Aside from being an incredible athlete, Smith also possesses great leadership skills that his parents made sure they taught him at an early age.
"They always taught me different things about leading by example," Smith said. "They always taught me that, if you are going to be one of the top players on your team, you are going to have to lead, and you can't be goofing off. From a young age they taught me to lead by example. They taught me about trying to help all the younger guys and bring them along as much as possible, helping them out and doing your best."
He does not have to look to far for examples of leadership as his two favorite football players, NFL quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, epitomize the word.
As far as Smith goes, he now closes the book on his football career, but does so with a smile, knowing he guided a Delone team further than any other team had gone.
He said, "It is nice to have that feeling that you are one of the last teams that has made it to the (district) finals, and making it further than anyone else was awesome because it showed that all the hard work pays off."
email@example.com; 717-637-3736, extension 143. Twitter: @michaelrubin6.