Cobras' Smith earns shot at college level

Chase Smith

Cane Bay wrestler Chase Smith finished top three in the state three times and was named all-state twice.

One day down the road when Chase Smith evaluates his time in high school he won’t have to wonder whether he made the most of it.

Smith took on all challengers on the wrestling mat and football field, and stood out in the class room to boot.

For his efforts, Smith reeled in an opportunity to test himself at the next level. Just before graduating from Cane Bay High School this month, he announced his intentions to attend Presbyterian College, where he’ll try to play football and wrestle for the Blue Hose.

“I’m very proud of him for earning this opportunity,” Cane Bay football coach Russell Zehr said. “He’s one of those kids who worked unbelievably hard, not only in the weight room and football field but also in the classroom.”

A hard-nosed approach to both sports made him a standout. He didn’t mind delivering a blow or absorbing one. He embraced the traffic in football and excelled when the clock ticked down in wrestling.

“He’s one of those guys who go hard on every play,” Zehr said. “He’s physical and likes to be aggressive. At inside linebacker, the mental part of it is half the battle.”

Smith led the football team in tackles as a junior and senior. The Cobras advanced to the playoffs both seasons.

On the mat, Smith was one of the state’s top wrestlers for at least three years. He finished top three at state as a sophomore, junior and senior and was twice named all-state, winning over 100 career matches. The Cobras won the last three region championships and made the state quarterfinals twice and state semifinals once.

Smith capped it all as an all-star for Team South Carolina against North Carolina.

“PC is a great school but it is pretty expensive,” Zehr said. “They’re non-scholarship with athletics now so for him doing all that work in the classroom basically gave him the opportunity to go for free. He’s going up there anticipating doing both (football and wrestling).”