The story of the Smith Center football team is like “Hoosiers” on steroids; it’s a story that couldn’t have a better script, a story so incredible it borders on unbelievable.
This northern Kansas high school (enrollment: 154) is home to a football team that has outscored its opponents 760-0 in 13 games this season and is riding a 51-game winning streak.
You may have heard of them a couple of weeks ago when they really grabbed headlines with a 72-point first quarter, a national record.
They ended up winning the game 83-0.
Talk about a fairytale –– you just can’t write things this amazing. OK, you can, but no one will believe you except your mother.
It’s not like the Patriots running up the score (not that it bothers me), where they struggle to move the ball with the backups, but are untouchable with Tom Brady on the field. According to every article and snippet I’ve come across, the starters seldom play past the first quarter.
Not only does Smith Center maintain and improve upon leads with the backups in the game, they continue to pound their opponents relentlessly. They haven’t allowed anyone to score a single point the entire season.
What I love even more: they run the option –– wishbone, baby.
This small-school athletic absurdity reminded me of a basketball team from Bingham, Maine several years back that was just as incredible as the Smith Center football team.
During a multi-year stretch, the Valley High School boy’s basketball team won more than 100 games in a row against in-state competition, regardless of division.
As part of this streak, they would play some of the biggest and best schools in Maine. We’re talking a school of roughly 130 students with a basketball team good enough to beat teams from schools with enrollments more than 10 times larger.
The thing was that this tiny school from the north Maine woods fielded a roster with a handful of players over 6’3” and guards that could knock down shots from anywhere.
The team had a cult following. The town would caravan en masse to the state tournament games.
Valley blue would swarm the Augusta Civic Center or the Bangor Auditorium.
I was lucky enough to skip school, drive to Maine and watch with my dad and grandfather as they would just tool on the competition. It was something else.
At the time, I though this school’s story was about as astonishing as anything I would ever hear.
Well, Smith Center may have proven me wrong, but when we get right down to it, amazing is amazing whether you’re in the Maine woods or the Kansas prairie.