Smith’s got game

Head Coach Derek Smith’s full effort into McIntosh Football team


Brady Dunn

Head Coach Derek Smith takes the field alongside the Chiefs at the Aug. 28 game against Hampton.

Mikayla Carrino, Staff Writer


The MHS Chiefs football team had the same coach for more than a decade until this year with a new head coach, Derek Smith coming from Florida to McIntosh to help the McIntosh football team get to work. Smith has been working with the team for months and has improved the inter

Chiefs coaches and Head Coach Derek Smith (second from left) celebrate the 1 point victory in overtime against Heard County on Sept. 30. Final score was 35-34. (Caroline Franklin)

team relations. He’s put his full attention to the team, leading them to multiple wins this far this season.

Smith came into the season with multiple goals in mind.

“My main [objective] this year for the Chiefs, just like every year, is going to be to win the region, to make it to Thanksgiving in the playoffs, and then win the playoffs after that,” Smith said.

The football players view Smith as a hardworking individual and someone who puts his own energy and effort into the students he coaches.

“Coach Smith has been improving us by teaching us things about leadership, fellowship and also showing us what to do and not to be afraid when it comes to getting tackled,” sophomore Jason Collier said.

When Smith was hired on as the head coach, he noticed that there were things that were already worked on and other things that the team needed a lot of work on.

“You have to hate losing with the same intensity. I want my players to feel the same way. [Then they will do everything in their power to build themselves into a winning team because they don’t like the feeling of losing,” Smith said.

Smith encourages his team to practice at home as well.

“He’s improving us on the field and off the field, he makes schedules where we have practice in the morning on Mondays and Thursdays so if we have tests we can make it up. He gives us the opportunity to stop and invest in school while doing sports, it’s not one-sided. He works very hard to help us improve as a team,” junior Uche lloh said.

According to the team, Smith has come with a strong mentality.

“I feel like he puts so much effort into us getting better as a group and as a team. We already have an expectation for what we [have to] do we just got to go out there and do it,” lloh said.

Smith knows that his players are excited and working on improving themselves for this season.

Get somebody like [Smith],

— Rahtrez Barber

 “I think that the continued strengths are that the kids are eager to learn and have the energy to want to continue to get better. The weakness is the fact that they haven’t been doing it long. They’re going to make mental mistakes here and there. We’ve just got to continue to correct those mental mistakes daily,” Smith said.

According to Collier and lloh, some team members get together and practice outside of the football field.

“We’ve been playing catch, practicing our defense and our offense,” Collier said, “The best part is the experience, meeting new friends, [and] getting to learn the basics of football.”

Junior Rahtrez Barber has advice for teams looking to improve their football.

“Get somebody like [Smith],” Barber said.


Editor’s Note: Former Sports Editor Landon Wilde contributed to this article.