2023 Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star Team: Woodland Hills’ Scoop Smith

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Friday, August 4, 2023 | 9:01 AM


Woodland Hills sophomore phenom Scoop Smith has great expectations entering Week Zero.

The Wolverines will host Central Catholic on Aug. 25 at the Wolvarena.

“The expectation is to win,” Smith said. “We have a new coaching staff, and they have been more disciplined. The team has been focused, and the expectation looks like we are getting to where we need to be.”

Woodland Hills appointed Brian Tarrant head coach in January after the former Penn Hills defensive coordinator spent a year coaching college football at Cal (Pa.).

Tarrant is thrilled to start his first season as head coach.

“I’m excited about the future of our program and the opportunity to mentor and shape the lives of these exceptional student-athletes,” Tarrant said. “We have a very young football team. We will make mistakes, but the key is get better each week to achieve our season goals.”

Tarrant is expecting Smith to be a major playmaker.

“He’s electric when the football is in his hands and tough to tackle in space,” Tarrant said. “He’ll certainly be a big weapon for us this year.”

Smith is a two-sport athlete holding Division I offers for football and basketball. His football offers include Nebraska, UNLV and Toledo. He has a basketball offer from Stony Brook.

Scoop’s father, Will Smith, remembers vividly when Scoop was first introduced to sports.

“His first word was ball,” the elder Smith said. “From that point on, I was coaching him alongside his older brothers in sports, even though they were seven years older than him. I treated him just like they were. If you fumbled the ball or missed a layup, you did the pushups.”

Smith came to his father in third grade with one goal in mind: to be the best third grader in football and basketball.

“I was waking him up and then I stopped to see how serious he was. He started waking me up earlier in the mornings,” Will Smith said. “He has that ‘it’ factor that everyone talks about. He has ‘it.’”

Scoop’s mother, TaLor Bristol-Smith, said Scoop has always inspired her to be better.

“I look up to Scoop. He really makes me proud with his drive and motivation,” she said. “He really makes me want to be better. His father and I really stress good grades, and he delivers. He’s not just athletic. He’s very smart, too.”

Smith is coming off a dominant freshman season at Woodland Hills, earning a Class 5A Northeast Conference first-team offensive selection.

As a freshman, Smith totaled 34 receptions for 587 yards and eight touchdowns, leading the Wolverines to the Class 5A semifinals, where they fell to Pine Richland, 23-12.

Smith hopes to make a return to the semifinals and beyond this season.

“It’s going to take everyone buying into what the coaches are saying,” he said. “We killed ourselves with penalties and little mistakes last year. We have the talent and the coaching. Everyone has to lock in. One play at a time and one game at a time, we will be where we need to be.”

Despite checking in at 5-foot-6, 140 pounds, Smith is one of the WPIAL’s most elusive runners.

“Everyone knows my speed takes me to a different level.” Smith said.

He has sticky hands with a quick twitch to get in and out of his routes fluidly. He also is a physical blocker.

Smith has high hopes of bringing back the community support from Woodland Hills.

“Everyone knows about the old Woodland Hills. The whole community was all in,” Smith said. “It was like that for the past couple years, but not what I was used to.”

Woodland Hills has a lineage of notable NFL players who showcased their talents Friday nights at the Wolvarena, players such as Miles Sanders, Ryan Mundy, Quinton Jefferson, Steve Breaston, Jason Taylor, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Edmonds, Lafayette Pitts, Ejuan Price, Darrin Walls, Shawntae Spencer, Rontez Miles, Ejuan Price, Lousaka Polite and Terrence Johnson.

“You can still feel the support that we have. That’s what coach Tarrant and everyone coming into the Woodland Hills program is trying to bring back, that sense of community,” Smith said. “It seems like it’s working. You walk around with a Woodland Hills shirt on, people will acknowledge you and tell you they are supporting.”

Scoop Smith

Woodland Hills

Sophomore

WR/DB

5-6/140

Division I offers: Nebraska, UNLV, Toledo, Stony Brook (for basketball)

2022 statistics: 34 receptions for 587 yards and eight touchdowns; 13 carries for 148 yards

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