DJ Smith, three-sport athlete at Moorhead High School

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DJ Smith is a 3-sport athlete who participates in football, basketball and track. (Photo courtesy of Moorhead Highschool.)

By Dan Ninham

DJ Smith (Yankton Sioux) is a senior at Moorhead High School. He is winding down his final season as a football captain and will be transitioning into the basketball season and ending up with the track season.

The Moorhead HS Spuds football team are 5-4 after winning their first round section game 42-0 versus winless Sartell-St. Stephen on October 24. They played 7-1 Brainerd a few days later and results were not available at press time.

Smith’s athletic highlights include winning a past section championship in basketball and football. He has received college offers to play football.

This football season he has 504 yards, 40 receptions and nine touchdowns. His career stats are 830 yards and 11 touchdowns. Last basketball season he averaged 10.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3 assists as a starter. In track last season he had personal bests: 11.5 in the 100m dash, and a 22.5 in the 200m.

Smith strives to connect to his indigenous core values on and off the field, court and track. He said, “Being a good leader to the younger generations that look up to me and showing them that hard work will pay off are my core values that I hold myself accountable. I also have to stay balanced, and to take care of myself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.”

As a three-sport athlete he is focusing on being at a high performing level each day. “I’m working to compete to finish my high-school football season with a state ring,” said Smith. “I work hard at practice every day and to be the best leader possible.”
Brandon Yoney is DJ’s football position coach at Moorhead HS.

“DJ has all the assets you look for in a WR,” said Coach Brandon Yoney. “He has the physical tools and ball skills to make plays. This year he has really grown in his understanding of defensive coverage and using leverage to set up his routes.”

“I have watched DJ develop as a leader and a player that looks out for his younger teammates. I cannot tell you how many times this season I have seen him talk to a young guy and correct their mistakes or let them know where they need to be. As a parent I am grateful my son has gotten to learn directly from DJ’s example,” added Yoney.
“DJ is a natural leader who is able to connect with all members of our team,” said Matt Ellingson, head boys’ basketball coach at Moorhead HS. “He has a great ability to know if someone needs to hear words of encouragement or if he needs to challenge someone to be at their best. It is truly a joy to coach a student-athlete like DJ Smith and I am looking forward to his upcoming senior season.”