North Summit selects former star as new head football coach |

North Summit selects former star as new head football coach

Christopher Kamrani, The Park Record

Devin Smith has been handed the torch.

The former North Summit High School football star and 1997 graduate has been named head coach of the North Summit Braves after nine years on the coaching staff. Smith, the team’s former offensive coordinator, replaces Jerre Holmes, who was named superintendent of the North Summit School District.

For the 32-year-old Smith, his job is just to continue the rich tradition of football in Coalville.

"I’ve always had a lot of pride in North Summit," he said. "For me, this means a lot. I just want to carry on what we’ve had here, and continue doing the good things.

"We’re going to be doing what we’ve been doing."

Holmes has a lot of confidence in his former offensive coordinator.

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"He knows it all," he said. "It was a pretty natural move. He’ll do a great job I am sure he will."

Smith inherits a Braves’ squad that went 4-6 in 2010 and suffered a double-overtime first-round playoff exit. He said he will keep an offense based around the option attack and added that he is lucky to have a couple key seniors returning on the offensive side of the ball.

Quarterback Keegan McQueen and running back Nathan Rees return to spearhead the Braves offense. Rees ran for 690 yards and six touchdowns on 115 carries as a junior in 2010. McQueen’s running ability added 289 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

Smith called Rees "very talented" and said McQueen is one of the more coachable kids he’s had.

"Our seniors have been great leaders to this point," he said. "They’ve taken it upon themselves to be great leaders."

He also singled out Joseph Seright (fullback/defensive end) and Dalton Ross (offensive/defensive line) as two other Braves who will help lead the charge.

Asked if he felt lucky to walk into a situation with some key returning seniors, Smith said, "Absolutely. It’s hard to win in football without a good group of seniors. We’re not super big, but we have a good amount of talent."

But the Braves will have their work cut out for them. The newly-aligned regions in 2A have separated into North and South divisions. The Braves are in the 2A North Division with three teams demoted from class 3A: Manti, American Leadership Academy and Emery. The eight-team division is rounded out by Millard, Gunnison, North Sevier and North Summit’s rival, South Summit.

As for Smith’s goal in his inaugural season?

"I think we can compete for the region title," he said. "Obviously, our region schedule is very tough. South Summit is going to be good again and with those teams coming down (from 3A) all those teams in our region are very good."

Every week will be a battle with no more gimmes on the schedule.

"I think we’re a good team, but I think there’s going to be four or five teams that could win the region. It depends on some breaks here or there.

"I like the challenge every week of really having to get up for every single game. Come playoff time, it proves beneficial because you’ve played a tough schedule. Hopefully it pays off for us when playoff time rolls around."

The 2011 season opener is scheduled for Aug. 19 against non-region opponent Beaver in Coalville. So is he ready?

"We’ve already hit the ground running," he said.