The Founders

• Snook Christian wraps up first historic football season

Tony Whitehead, GCM Sports
Posted 11/9/17

SUMMERDALE —Keith Smith teaches history at Snook Christian Academy and on the wall of his classroom is a portrait of founding father George Washington. Smith and his Eagles’ inaugural …

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The Founders

• Snook Christian wraps up first historic football season

Posted

SUMMERDALE —Keith Smith teaches history at Snook Christian Academy and on the wall of his classroom is a portrait of founding father George Washington. Smith and his Eagles’ inaugural football team made some history of their own this year. The team ended their ground-breaking rookie season with a 5-5 record. Not the undefeated season all competitors hope for, but a significant accomplishment for a start-up team playing established programs.

The Eagles played a mix of similar-sized and larger teams up to two and three times their roster. Their first loss was to North Florida Christian in week four, a team that ended up as the No. 2 seed in the Florida 2A Division.

With Smith at the head-coaching spot, SCA kicked off their first-ever varsity season with back-to-back-to-back wins against strong programs before meeting a few teams with a better balance of experience, talent and depth.

“Everybody we faced had more experience, both playing together and probably overall. So we knew we would be tested every week.” Smith said. “We just had such a good group of hardworking kids, some experienced and some very talented, but many young and less experienced. I’m just really so proud of what they accomplished and the dedication they demonstrated together all year long. They never, ever quit. And I’m so proud of our seniors. We asked a lot of them and they provided real leadership to the younger players.”

Smith said that never-quit attitude was especially evident in the final game of the season last week at Northview, Fla.

“We got down early, but did not give up. We battled back until the last second. We wanted to get that last one to have that winning record. But Northview had a really good team and we did our best. And I’m really proud of that.”

The Snook team was led by 10 upper classmen, including four seniors. One of the founding seniors Trell Prim, like many teammates, played both ways.

“It was a great experience,” he said. “Not just playing the game, but learning about it. Why we do things certain things, certain ways. Coach Smith made it fun, but he also taught us a lot about it. Like, the bigger picture. I think we had a good first season. We got to build and leave a legacy and that will always mean a lot.”

Though Prim also played defense as well, he hopes to continue to play in college on the offensive side. He logged 615 yards passing (33/60) with most of those completions to Ladarious Roper (30 for 421 yards) and Charles Lyman (13 for 179 yards). Prim added 710 yards rushing (10 yards per carry) and caught seven passes to lead the Eagles in touchdowns from scrimmage with 12 and 16 total. He hopes to continue playing in college with some interest shown so far by UAB, Tulane, South Alabama and West Alabama.

Prim’s fellow founding seniors include linemen Allen Brown and Mitchell Chambers with receivers Will Crosby and Branton Morgan.

“They were all huge for our football team providing a lot of leadership for us and a lot of guidance to our young kids,” Smith said of his seniors. “I can’t thank them enough for coming out and helping us get this first year off the ground and I hope they will always be proud they did. They should. I told them to remember there will never be another first team.”

Smith also thanked his assistant coaches starting with his father Lester Smith, who led the Foley Lions to two state championships and later coached his Forward City alma mater to 214 victories over 21 seasons and the most varsity wins (127) in Foley High’s history.

“Of course, my No. 1 assistant is my dad,” Smith said. “He would go out a week ahead and scout out our next opponent. He just provided so much guidance for me and the team as well as coaching the quarterbacks. Just a tremendous help for our whole staff. And we really are fortunate to have such a great staff.”

The rest of the Eagles’ founding staff included Ben Kissinger, who coached the offensive line; Eric Whittle, receivers; Willie Watts, running backs; Jerome Roper, defensive coordinator; Ben Coxwell, defensive backs; and Nia Faiupu, linebackers; Raymond Lyman, backs and receivers; Bobby Hunter, kickers and Frank Smith assisted with offensive line. Thad Butts coached Junior High team.

THE FOUNDATION: Snook Christian Academy first football roster, 2017

No.  NAME        GRADE POS. HT. WT.

1 Andre Stephenson 11 Back 5’10” 150

2 Ladarious Roper 10 Back 5’7” 140

3 Damarius Pickens 11 Rec. 5’10” 142

4 Collin Johnson 8 Rec. 4’11” 90

5 Trell Prim 12 Back 5’7” 182

6 Branton Morgan 12 Rec. 5’8” 160

7 Maddux Edenfield 8 Rec. 5’0” 95

8 Ty Roper 8 Rec. 5’0” 85

9 Will Crosby 12 End 5’11” 160

10 Riley McGregor 9 End 5’6” 120

11 Keldrick Koen 10 LB 5’4” 190

12 Camaje Casey 10 Back 5’9” 202

13 Raven Faiupu 9 Back 5’9” 130

14 Corbin Hall 6 Rec. 5’0” 90

15 Essex Casey 8 Back 5’4” 185

16 Trevor Carpenter 8 Rec. 6’1” 135

17 Reece Tynes 7 End 5’6” 130

18 Charles Lymon 10 Rec. 5’9” 140

19 Robert Dunn 7 Rec. 5’3” 120

20 Chase Boehm 8 End 5’3” 125

21 Davon Tauai 10 End 6’2 225

30 Jordan Harris 8 Rec. 4’11” 80

32 Garrett Phillips 10 LB 5’10” 170

35 Cole Bolton 7 End 5’4” 130

42 Arrington Faiupu 7 Back 5’3” 105

44 Josh Simonton 10 Back 5’9” 160

48 Philip Butts 7 End 5’0” 110

49 Chris Bell 8 Rec. 5’0” 90

50 Logan Trawick 9 Line. 5’7” 150

51 Garrett Nelson 11 Rec. 5’10” 165

52 Easton Frank 7 Line. 5’5” 140

53 Andrew Wiest 7 Line. 5’3” 128

54 Zane Rider 9 Line. 5’9” 200

55 Rocco Faiupu 5 Line. 5’1” 101

56 Mitchell Chambers 12 Line. 5’8” 270

59 Gabe Motichek 7 Line. 5’9” 195

60 Billy Merchant 6 Line. 5’4” 165

61 Hayden Joiner 7 Line. 5’5” 145

62 Gavin Tooley 10 Line. 6’0” 210

63 Sam Johnson 11 Line. 5’9” 212

64 Xavier Golden 11 Line. 5’5” 245

65 Seth Reynolds 9 Line. 5’9” 220

73 Allen Brown 12 Line. 6’0” 265

74 Lincoln Butts 10 Line. 5’5” 180