Scholar Athlete: Smith helps Bulldogs reach for title while maintaining 3.4 GPAPublished 12:01am Friday, February 7, 2014
NATCHEZ — The Natchez High School Bulldogs have come a long way since Lorenzo Smith’s freshman year.
Now as a senior, they’re working to reach heights that Natchez hasn’t reached in his four years.
Smith said the biggest turnaround for the Bulldogs has been their unity.
“We’ve grown a lot,” he said. “We’re like a family now. In the past, I felt like it was different groups and cliques, but now everybody is gelling.”
The Bulldogs are currently 12-8 overall and 3-2 in district with their last district game tonight against Wingfield High School.
Smith said he is looking to be more instrumental in the Bulldogs’ game plan after an inconsistent season.
“I started doing OK, then I lost a little bit of confidence, but I’m starting to get it back,” he said. “Coach will encourage me from the sidelines. It’s really important to win because we’re going to play Wingfield again in the (district) tournament, but a win (tonight) will give us some momentum going into the tournament.”
Assistant coach David Haywood said Smith’s contributions would be instrumental in the team’s success from here on.
“When we feel a little fatigue, we break down in rotation, so when one guy gets tired, we break down as a whole,” Haywood said. “I’ve got to have guys come off the bench and give good minutes. That’s where guys like Lorenzo (Smith) come in. His strong points are hustling and doing all of the little things.”
Smith’s hard work does not go unnoticed on the Bulldogs squad, though Smith is not the type to seek attention.
“He is pretty quiet, but I imagine they all get a little riled up in the locker room when we’re not around,” Haywood said. “He’s a really good kid, well mannered and respectful. We never have to worry about his grades. He gives it everything he’s got with a big smile on his face.”
Smith said his grades are the most important thing right now as he hones a 3.4 GPA while playing sports and working a part-time job.
Smith said there is only one way to maintain everything he does on such a high level.
“I just pray,” Smith said with a chuckle. “I study with whatever time I get after school, practice and work.”
The senior said he is currently taking biology 2 and French 2, but his favorite subject is math.
“I just like solving problems,” he said.
Smith said he wants to continue his education at either LSU or Southern Miss, but just as a student.
“I want to major in sports medicine so I can become a physical therapist,” Smith said.
The Bulldogs host Wingfield at 7:30 p.m tonight.