Hammonton’s Kenny Smith off to a quick start

by Marc Narducci | Sep 1, 2023
Hammonton’s Kenny Smith off to a quick start
Hammonton running back Kenny Smith had a breakout sophomore season when he rushed for 1,670 yards (7.4 avg.) and 21 touchdowns for a 9-3 team that lost to eventual state champion Millville, 18-16 in the South Jersey Group 4 championship. 

Even in that defeat, Smith showed off his abilities by rushing for 220 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. The week before he rushed for 209 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries in a 27-16 semifinal win over Shawnee. 

Smith saved his best last year for late in the season. He rushed for 200 or more yards in three of the past four games. During those final four contests, he rushed for 839 yards and nine touchdowns. 

The 5-11, 170-pound Smith opened his junior season the way he closed last year, in spectacular fashion. He scored all five touchdowns in a 35-0 win over St. John Vianney during the Battle at the Beach event at Ocean City.

Smith rushed for 143 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries. Smith also scored on a 58-yard touchdown reception from Drew Craig. 

“It feels great,” Smith said. “The goal was to come out here and set the bar high and I feel we did a great job of that.”

Make no mistake, Smith is a marked man. Defenses strategize how to stop the fleet junior, who breaks an awful lot of tackles for a 170-pound running back. 

“It’s tough,” he said about facing defenses intent on stopping him. “But we come out and grind for moments like this, so I feel it all comes down to preparation.”

Smith is not only looking for personal improvement, but for the Blue Devils to build off last year’s success.

“We had a lot of young guys last year so everybody is now older and more experienced, so we expect to have a big season,” he said. 

Smith has been playing football for a long time. He began at the age of six and has been eluding defenders ever since. 

Not surprisingly, Smith says that he has heard from many colleges, from all levels, including many FBS and FCS programs.

He doesn’t seem overwhelmed by the rigors of recruiting.

“It’s exciting, you have to enjoy it while you can,” Smith said. “I have some time, so I am going to enjoy it, have my fun and when it comes down to choosing a school, I will make sure to weigh my options.”

 

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Author: Marc Narducci

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