Kylin Smith emerges as a leader for the Rams football team

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 3, 2022

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EDGARD — Stepping into his junior season with the West St. John Rams football team, Kylin Smith is determined to make his mark as a leader on and off the field.

Smith was designated a 2022 team leader along with rising seniors Mikhail Burrell and Timothy Bartholomew.

“To me, being a leader means leading by example, doing what you have to do in class and also on the field,” Smith said. “We have a young team this year, so you have to show the young ones how to do things. They are going to be a little shy and nervous coming into high school, so I want to lead by example for the young ones and for the whole team.”

Smith is entering the year with personal goals of earning college offers and once again achieving all-district recognitions. He is a major part of the Rams’ offense and defense with contributions at wide receiver and defensive back.

Smith also has experience playing cornerback during seven-on-seven ball with the River Bayou Bootleggers.

West St. John head coach Greg Johnson relied on Smith during the 2021 season, and this year will be no exception. Johnson described Smith as an “all around great kid” who sets a positive example for others in both academics and athletics.

“First and foremost, he possesses great leadership skills. His work ethic is off the chains, and he has a desire to improve. He’s coachable. He has a motor that never stops. He is one of those kids a coach dreams of having on his team,” Johnson said.

During the 2021 season, team members supported each other through the Hurricane Ida rebuilding process. Eighty percent of local households sustained damage, but Smith said the Rams have come back stronger.

“After Ida, everybody came back and got their homes together,” Smith said. “I’m anticipating we will be good this year. We just have to get the young ones up to speed with what we are doing. At West St. John, we have a high standard. We are going to get everybody on board and just get ready to rock and roll this season.”

Smith is a multi-sport athlete for the Rams who stays in shape year-round through football, basketball, baseball and track. He’s earned ‘Ram of the Year’ in the basketball program, where he plays small forward, shooting guard and occasionally point guard.

In track and field, Smith is a sprinter, a relay runner and a jumper who has placed at the district and regional level in the 4×100 and 4×200 relays.

Smith approaches his schoolwork with the same tenacity. He’s consistently on the honor roll with a GPA between 3.6 and 3.8 and is a member of West St. John’s Beta Club. Smith also serves as a class representative for West St. John’s Class of 2024.

“I’m a very humble, laidback person who is very quiet at times, and also very hardworking. I like to grind,” Smith said.

Smith plans to pursue football on the college level after he graduates from West St. John.

When thinking of his future, Smith takes inspiration from his mother’s work as a respiratory therapist and his aunt’s prior experience as an athletic trainer for West St. John. He plans to pursue a career in physical therapy to help fellow athletes on their journeys.

Kylin Smith is the son of Coray and Lakeya Smith of Edgard.