Senior Night at Smithfield High

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 2, 2007

SMITHFIELD–Smithfield’s game against York High School tonight marks the final appearance for seniors Dyrell Roberts, Dustin Hornsby, and Jordan Eason at Packer Field.

The two-a-day practices, long bus trips to road games and hearing the Packer cannon after a score will all come to an end Friday night.

&uot;It’s going to be a sad day,&uot; Smithfield head coach Chris Fraser said about the seniors’ final game. &uot;They are the ones who got this program turned around.&uot;

It’s been an exciting four years for the three seniors who began their high school careers on the JV team and won 22 games the past three years with two state playoff appearances.

“We’ve been playing together for five years now,&uot; said Eason. “I’ll miss the friendships the most. It’s like losing 40 friends that you see every day for four hours.”

Fraser said Eason, who has a scholarship offer from Norfolk State, had a desire for football every coach wants to see in his players. &uot;In four years, he has never missed a practice, and never missed a snap in a varsity game,&uot; Fraser said. &uot;That’s impressive–that shows his toughness.&uot;

&uot;We have to look at the positives,&uot; said senior running back Dyrell Roberts. &uot;Just enjoy the company of playing together, and realize the good times we have had here.&uot;

Roberts, who next year is headed to Virginia Tech on a football scholarship, can become the fourth Bay Rivers running back in the last five years to surpass 2,000 yards rushing. That would be a huge accomplishment for the seniors and the team.

After averaging nine yards per carry last year, Roberts felt 2,000 yards was in reach if he could double the number of touches this year. &uot;It was one of my dreams, one of my goals going into the season,&uot; said Roberts, who needs 132 yards to reach the 2,000 plateau. &uot;’We wanted to leave a legacy at Smithfield. It feels good being this close (to 2000 yards), and it’s been fun doing it.&uot;

&uot;It’s not that important actually,&uot; Hornsby said jokingly. &uot;Actually, when the playoffs dwindled away, we wanted to get him his yards. It will be great for him, and it looks good on our part too.&uot;

Wouldn’t be dramatic if Roberts runs for a touchdown on the carry that puts him over 2,000 yards?

&uot;It’s kind of ironic,&uot; Hornsby said. &uot;Last week, Coach Fraser told Dyrell this was going to be his last play from the 30-yard line. We all got in the huddle and told Dyrell we were going to get him a touchdown on this last play. Sure enough, he got a touchdown. It could happen like that again this week.&uot;

While Smithfield didn’t make it back to the playoffs this year, they did accomplish something they haven’t done in a very long time: Beat Southampton.

The Packers destroyed Southampton 52-12 Monday.

It was the first time in 15 years Smithfield defeated its district rival. &uot;We didn’t even beat them in JV,&uot; said Roberts, who gained 337 yards rushing and accounted for five touchdowns against the Indians. &uot;That felt real good beating them.&uot;

The Packers can end the season on a four-game winning streak. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and will include a presentation for the Smithfield seniors.