Central High School rededicates baseball field to Smith
He went from coach to principal in 1995.
“I was practically begging to stay on as the baseball coach for one more year, because I had eight of my nine starters returning,” Smith says with a chuckle.
The field was named after Smith in 2009, but it never got a sign with his name. That is, until Wednesday.
“It’s special to have something named after you,” Smith says. “I can’t think of anything that I’ve put more blood, sweat and tears into than this baseball field here. It brings back a lot of good memories with the many, many great players that I had, just wonderful people that have turned into very successful adults.”
Patrick Goff graduated from Central in 1997. He played baseball for the Chargers.
“We learned a lot from Coach Smith,” Goff says. “Not only as athletes, but in how to carry on our day-to-day lives, how to strive to succeed.”
It’s easy to see how much Smith truly loves his former players. During the ceremony, he got choked up when talking about two of them who’ve passed away.
“Two of my players are no longer with us,” Smith told the crowd before a long pause. “It’s difficult when you have to give up people early in life.”
His time as interim superintendent is winding down, but watching him interact with the people in this community shows he is and always will be a fan favorite.
“I wish he could stay,” Joaquin Sample, a 1998 Central graduate says. “I understand his wife is ready to retire. He’s served the state of Georgia as an educator for a long, long time, so I understand that, but I’d really like it if he’d stay another couple years.”
Smith will stay on as interim superintendent until June.