Brothers help lead NA defense

When the Bulldogs’ defense lines up against M.S. Palmer this week, they will see one of the largest lines they will face this season and will be partially led by two brothers with the unique opportunity to play together.

Shawn and Shane Smith began their football careers in middle school before an ACL injury sidelined Shane his freshman year.
“I couldn’t play the next two seasons, so in the middle of my junior year, I got back at it as far as working out with the team,” he said. “We have something special here, with me and Shawn and the other twins (Cade and Wade Simmons) lining up together. It’s pretty cool.”
While Shane rehabbed, he had the support of his brother to make it back to the field.
“At the very beginning, he didn’t think that he’d be able to come out and do as good as he’s doing, and I told him to keep working hard,” Shawn said. “It feels good to play on the same team and to be able to look up to each other, and he’s doing really well after knee surgery.”
With Shane coming back this season, head coach Ron Price is glad to see the impact the senior twins have made for the undefeated ‘Dawgs.
“The defense kind of feeds off of them, and I’m thankful to have both of them and thankful that they’re having such successful senior seasons,” he said.
Price is looking for another strong defensive effort as the Dragons enter the game at 3-0 and possess a lot of strength on their lines.
“I think a lot of folks will be surprised when they see Palmer walk out on the field and with the kids they have playing for them,” he said. “Their offensive line averages over 300 pounds, and they’ve done a very good job running the football all season.”
Stopping their running game will be essential, as well as making sure the Bulldogs’ offense stays on track this week.
“I don’t think they’ve  thrown a pass the entire season, so in practice, they’re not having to defend the pass any,” Price said. Hopefully they’ll have a hard time defending our passing game.”
For the brothers, they are looking forward to a physical match-up, but one they think the Bulldogs can handle.
“They have big linemen, and Coach Garrett is preparing us to come off hard and stay low,” Shane said.
“They’re probably the biggest line we’ll go against this season, but It will help us a lot, and I’m glad we’re playing them in preparation for the big boys in division play,” Shawn added.
Kickoff for the homecoming match-up is set for 7:30 p.m.