As part of our South Jersey high school football coverage, we want to know a little bit more about some of the region’s players. Nick Smith, a senior wide receiver/defensive back from Haddon Heights, talked over a variety of things with reporter Mark Trible.
MT: What’s it like to know you’re about to play in your final high school game?
NS: It’s definitely a little upsetting to know it’s my last game. But it’s also giving me a little bit of fire to play extra hard.
MT: From a player’s standpoint, what’s the Haddon Heights-Haddonfield rivalry like?
NS: It’s a great atmosphere to play in. There’s a whole bunch of fans, which is great. Playing them in a big rivalry game like this, it’s a great feeling to be part of this tradition.
MT: What stands out to you about Haddonfield’s team on tape?
NS: Their defense is solid. It’s going to be very difficult to get by them.
MT: Do you prefer to play offense or defense?
NS: I personally prefer to play offense for when I get to the next level, they feel like that’s where I can play best.
MT: How would you describe your style at wideout?
NS: I categorize myself as a get open kind of guy. You just throw it up anywhere and I’ll go get it.
MT: Are there any receivers you study?
NS: Definitely Randy Moss. He’s my all-time favorite wide receiver.
MT: You mentioned your feelings about the final game, but what’s your senior season been like as a whole?
NS: I’ve just been playing every game like it’s my last game because you never know who’s been watching.
MT: What game stands out most from your career?
NS: My favorite game out of all the years would have to be this year when we played Paulsboro (42-36 loss on Oct. 10). Even though we lost, we all played to our best abilities and we were unstoppable, I feel. It came down to double overtime.
MT: I would imagine you were big underdogs in that game as well.
NS: Oh yeah. Nobody in New Jersey predicted us to win. We weren’t even supposed to come close in that game. We just came out with more intensity then them.
MT: Best quarterback you faced as a defensive back?
NS: Most impressive quarterback had to have been Malik Muldow from Lindenwold last year.
MT: How do you approach a quarterback like that?
NS: What I had to do was watch a lot of film and see what the receivers like to do and not what he likes to do.
MT: Any other hobbies or interests?
NS: I like to play basketball with my friends, hang out with them and play PlayStation.
MT: Favorite game to play?
NS: Probably have to be Call of Duty Black Ops III, the new one that just came out.
MT: What’s it like to live in Barrington?
NS: It’s a small town, everybody gets to know each other. It’s really great, it’s quiet. Nothing really goes on. It’s just peaceful.
MT: How’s it feel to be a team captain?
NS: It is quite an honor. I love being a captain and being a role model for my team. I like that people can look up to me and can ask me questions at any time.
MT: What do you expect against Haddonfield?
NS: My expectation of my team is to come out hard like we did against Paulsboro. If we play like that, we will win.
MT: Do you think it helps or hurts your chances that Haddonfield lost in the playoffs last week?
NS: I don’t know if it’s going to help or hurt us. They might be that much more angry. It will definitely help in a way, because they’re not playing for anything else after this.
MT: Favorite Thanksgiving food?
NS: It would have to be my mother’s stuffing. It is to die for.
MT: What do you want to do as a profession?
NS: I want to be an athletic director. I want to go to college and do sports management stuff, because I can’t see my life without sports. I have to be around sports all the time.
MT: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
NS: From one of my coaches when I played younger, he said, ‘How do you know how much you can do if you keep quitting all the time?’ It’s taught me to always push myself to limits and never quit or back down no matter the situation. Whether it’s sports, career or family.
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