By: Scott Keyes
Meet the 2013 Sports Scene Dream Team
When he graduates in the spring, Ithaca's Travis Smith will leave behind a legacy that will likely never be seen again in our lifetime .
A member of four Division 6 state championship teams. A winning streak that reached 56 games with the 41-22 state final victory over Clinton. A 41-0 record as a starting quarterback. Multiple state and school records.
The accolades keep pouring in for Smith, who was recently named Mr. Football and Michigan's High School Football player of the Year. Now he can be also called Sports Scene's Player of the Year for the second time. Smith is the only two-time winner of the Sports Scene honor, and it is well deserved.
Smith started at receiver in the first game of the 2011 season but took over at quarterback when David Brown was injured. He then led the team to a 13-0 record and its second state title.
Prior to the state final game against Clinton, Smith had completed 170 of 237 passes for 3,017 yards and 38 touchdowns with only six interceptions. He also had run 61 times for 414 yards and six touchdowns. In the the final, he completed 17 of 27 passes for 247 yards and four touchdowns and also ran for 123 yards and another score.
He will continue his career at the University of Toledo.
Smith is definitely deserving of the honor, but Swan Valley's Alex Grace was a close second after he set the Michigan single-season rushing record with 2,952 yards, only 48 yards away from becoming the first player ever to hit the 3,000 yard mark in a season in the history of Michigan high school football. Grace, Sports Scene's Offensive player of the year, averaged more than 10 yards per carry while scoring 39 touchdowns for the Vikings. Grace and Heritage's Brian Cole will be front runners for the award heading into next year.
On defense, Rockford's Brent Shower's is Sports Scene's Defensive Player of the Year. A starter for the Rams the last three seasons, Showers had 120 tackles this season, including 40 unassisted. He had 23 tackles for loss and forced three fumbles. Outside football, he has a 3.9 grade-point average and is the catcher on the baseball team.
Although Ithaca was the only local team to walk away from Ford Field with a state title, Beal City and DeWitt had solid seasons in their respective divisions. Both teams finished the year 13-1, with the Aggies losing to Muskegon Catholic in the D8 finals and the Panthers losing to Zeeland West in the D3 championship game. Both teams are well represented on Sports Scene's Dream Team. The smallest member of the Dream Team is Ty Rollin, the 5'8", 185 pound running back for the Aggies, while Jake Johnson (quarterback) and Chris Ruby (defensive back) lead the way for the Panthers.
Overall, this year's team of star-studded players is highlighted by a strong senior class, including Alma's Curtis Doyle, Ithaca's Logan Hessbrook, Midland's Mike Alexander, Nouvel's Tyler Jacqmain, New Lothrop's Amari Coleman, and two-time Dream Team punter Austin Feldpausch of Fowler. Six juniors made the team, including Grace, Cole, and Swan Valley's Taylor Reaume.
As hard as it was to pick this team, picking the coach was just as difficult. Beal City’s Lou Rau, Carson City's Dustin Pringle, DeWitt's Rob Zimmerman, and the 2011 Coach of the Year Jason McIntyre of Mt. Pleasant were all worthy candidates. But the honor of leading this great team goes to Ithaca's Terry Hessbrook, who led his team to its fourth straight Division 6 championship this year. Here is the 2013 Dream Team.