April 15, 2016

Smartt Leadership

Kevin McCarthy

photo of Stone Smartt

If ever there was someone to have beside you in the cockpit, at the wheel, or in the trenches when trouble arises, it has to be Stone Smartt. The name itself screams confidence. The person himself anchors the backcourt and directs the football team as the quarterback at Del Oro High.

At 6-foot-4 and 190, Smartt is a 2017 basketball and football prospect coming off a state pigskin championship and soon will be taking to the court for the NorCal Pharoahs travel team.

He cited his dribbling, all-around shooting and physicality as his best court talents. "The physicality I bring from football helps big time," he noted. Plus, "I definitely want other players to look up to me. I'm a vocal leader and in off-court actions."

Here's Jason Barton of the Pharoahs on Smartt: "Stone is a next level player and will be very successful at the collegiate level. With his floor leadership and ability to play both sides of the floor at the highest level he will be a great asset for any college program."

"I was a freshman on the junior varsity and I went up to varsity as a sophomore," Smartt explained. "I watched the [team] leaders and picked up on the skills." Smartt is also aces in the classroom--"I've had a 4.0 grade point average since the 8th grade." He's looking to major in business finance in college with the idea of "running my own business" down the line.

His hoops influences are Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryan because "they're both pretty similar, so determined."

Smartt was introduced to basketball as well as football early on. With the latter, "I played flag football and then moved on to pads." His pigskin highlight is obviously from last December when the Golden Eagles bested undefeated Camarillo High 16-13 for the CIF II-AA state championship, a game in which Smartt supplied 120 passing yards and 31 rushing. Del Oro began the season just 2-6 but then came together and ran off an amazing eight-game winning streak to take home the trophy.

In Del Oro's previous game, the Golden Eagles topped host Liberty High 28-24 with Smartt scoring the game-winning touchdown on a two-yard keeper. He completed 6-7 passing attempts on that final drive.

"My presence in the pocket is one of my better skills and my arm is strong," Smartt said.

Speaking of his team leader, Casey Taylor, the Del Oro football coach, said, "Stone is a very humble, team guy who is a great athlete and very smart. He came in at 6-foot-1 and 140 and is now 6-foot-4 and 190 because he worked very hard. We started 2-6 this season and Stone was one of the main cogs in our turnaround. He had a great year at quarterback, especially in the last eight weeks."

So which sport will Smartt go with collegiately? It depends. "I'm looking at the best opportunity, the best fit." The assortment of schools he has heard from include Yale, Columbia, UCLA, Colorado, Wyoming, UC Davis, Brown, and Weber State.

Smartt added, "I volunteer in my spare time working with middle school and elementary kids, like reading to elementary kids, coaching a fifth grade girls basketball team and helping out with the Evening of Dreams program with my football team."