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Drew Smiley: 13 to Watch in Central Mass in 2013

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

 

Despite a disappointing end to 2012, St. John's quarterback Drew Smiley put up numbers unprecedented in the annals of Central Mass high school football. In 2013, he will look to return the Pioneers to previous glory.

Smiley will be a senior in the fall and, though he only has one year of starting experience under his belt, it may be the greatest season a quarterback has ever had in Central Mass. Smiley became the first player in the region's storied history to throw for over 3,000 yards and rush for over 1,000 in the same season.

Talk about a dual-threat.

Smiley carried St. John's to the Division 1 Super Bowl, despite an inconsistent defense, and led the Pioneers to average nearly 33 points a game offensively. Smiley threw for an astonishing 25 touchdowns during the regular season, and added another dozen on the ground.

When the returning starter at quarterback Connor Kurtz went down with an injury, many predicted a year of growing pains with the talented, but inexperienced, Smiley leading a totally revamped offense.

Instead, Smiley stepped in and proved to a natural fit for coach John Andreoli's version of the "blur" offense, a system that emphasis running as many plays as possible in a short period of time, hoping to both tire and confuse a defense. Smiley did plenty of both, as he and running back Shadrach Abrokwah (pictured here next to Smiley) formed one of the region's most lethal rushing attacks, often running for five yard or more before opposing defenses could even get set.

Unfortunately for St. John's, they would come up short for a second consecutive year against Leominster in the title game. But, Smiley was able to lead the Pioneers past stingy Wachusett in the semifinals with a pair of passing scores on a snowy night.

Smiley also stars on the Pioneers' highly successful lacrosse team, and will be looking to catch the eye of college scouts in both sports in 2013.

Now, with the region's record for passing yardage under his belt, and a mastery of the Pioneers' new "blur" offense, Smiley turns his sights toward a Super Bowl title in 2013, and returning St. John's to its place atop Division 1. 

 

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