Jaylon Smith knew what to expect, what to wear and what to say when he accepted the Euell A. Wilson Award as the most outstanding senior football player in the Summit Athletic Conference.
After all, he had observed his brother Rod Smith win the same award four years ago.
I was here, sitting down with my parents, watching my brother receive this award, said Smith, the Bishop Luers linebacker. I always looked up to him. I’ve learned so much from him. I look forward to the future.
Prior to the second Smith brother winning the Euell A. Wilson Award, Snider’s Somer Johnson was presented the Glass Spike Award as the most outstanding senior volleyball player in the SAC.
Both athletes were cited during the annual Fall Athletic Awards ceremony sponsored by The Journal Gazette and SportONE Ortho NorthEast on Monday at IPFW.
In addition, members of the All-SAC and All-Northeast Indiana football and volleyball teams were honored, as well as the coaches of the year.
Snider pulled down both coaching awards. Kurt Tippmann was recognized in football, and Brooke Sellhorn in volleyball.
Snider’s Grace Woolsey was also received the SAC Mental Attitude award.
Hours before he was presented the Euell Wilson Award, Jaylon Smith learned that he won the Butkus Award for the nation’s most outstanding high school linebacker.
While Rod Smith was a running back and chose to attend Ohio State, Jaylon Smith is bound for Notre Dame next season.
Jaylon Smith, who also played offense for the Class 2A state champion Knights, was credited with 75 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and eight sacks this season.
I told him that one day I would strive to be better than him, Jaylon said of his brother. He always laughed about it. We actually beat him my freshman year. He was over at Paul Harding High School, and I started varsity as a freshman, so I had a chance to play against him.
Like Jaylon Smith, Johnson has her college chosen. It just so happened she was standing on campus when she was given the honor.
The 6-foot-1 middle hitter who set a one-year record with 520 kills for the Panthers will be attending IPFW.
It’s definitely exciting getting it at IPFW, knowing I’m going to be here the next four years, Johnson said. It means so much more to me that way.
Johnson added 36 digs and 77 blocks for the SAC and sectional runner-up Panthers.
It was kind of my goal this season to get this award, she said. I thought I could get it.
Jaylon and Rod Smith are the second set of brothers to receive the Wilson Award. In 2005, Rodney and Russell Dedeaux of South Side were co-winners.