Chris Smart couldn’t have started his senior season any better.
Smart returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown in Sir John A. Macdonald CI’s game versus Birchmount Park CI.
A triumphant beginning, however, was marred by two fumbles later in the game.
Thus, Smart, a senior at Macdonald CI, needed a “rebound game” against the Laurier Blue Devils.
And he delivered.
Smart punched the end zone twice, broke off a couple of long runs, as he and the Macdonald offensive line completely dominated the line of scrimmage in route to a 23-0 victory.
It was just the beginning of what the power running back believes will be a strong season for him and his Black Scots teammates as Macdonald looks to return to the Metro Bowl for the first time since 1989.
And he thinks that they have shot.
“It doesn’t matter how big you are, just the determination and the speed,” said Smart on Thursday.
With the running game that Macdonald has, anchored by him and Rakeem Simms, there’s certainly optimism since high school football is dominated by ground control.
“Both are fantastic runners but different in how they run the ball,” said coach Chris Driscoll. “One is more of a power back and one is more finesse and speed. I think they both run the ball really hard.”
Although last year’s champion Northern Red Knights, and private schools such as St. Andrews College, will certainly have their say on how the divisions shape up.
But despite being undersized in height, numbers, and resources, it’s Macdonald’s determination and character that makes you believe.
The Black Scots dress only 30 players on game day. And their linemen aren’t exactly giants to put it lightly.
And yet Driscoll, in the midst of his 11th year coaching Macdonald, called Thursday’s victory over Laurier “one of the best character wins I’ve had the opportunity to coach.
“They showed a lot of heart and sometimes that’s more important than numbers and size,” said Driscoll.
Against Laurier their heart was evident, as the team fought actively for every inch on the yard.
Couple this with Smart’s dedication, and determination for battling for first downs, there’s a chance that his season may end just as well as it began.