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|Smith returns to Ferriday|
Stanley Smith is returning to the Melz Field sideline. But this time he won't be wearing his familiar No. 8 jersey. And he won't be causing havoc on the field.
Smith has joined the Ferriday High coaching staff, being named as an assistant coach for first-year Trojan head coach Chad Harkins.
"Everything just came together," said Smith, who is a substitute teacher at Ferriday High. "I just finished getting my degree (General Studies) and this job came open with the new coach. Everything happens for a reason. I will take my test to get certified on August 24. It just all seemed inevitable."
Smith was the 2000 Parish Player of the Year. He totaled 155 tackles his senior year at Ferriday, collecting seven sacks, forcing nine fumbles and 28 tackles behind the line. He also intercepted three passes. The Trojans allowed only 86 points in 2000, falling to Farmerville in the state quarterfinals to finish 11-2.
"It's different now," Smith said. "It's a different time. We were much more disciplined back when I played. We're working to bring that back and put everything in its right place. We want to make this guys into young men, to be responsible on and off the field."
Smith said he knows he can relate to the players.
"I know what they are going through," he said. "I can tell them what to expect. It's a small town, but the people love their football."
Smith played four years at Louisiana-Lafayette. He called signals from his linebacker position in 2004.
"I had a great experience and was given the opportunity to play ball and take it to the next level," Smith said. "Being allowed to call plays helped me a lot and gave me a lot of confidence. It helped me learn the game even more. I tell the kids I was the Peyton Manning of the defense."
Smith played for the Louisiana Swashbucklers arena football team in 2006 and '07 before moving on to Rio Grande Valley in 2008 and Amarillo in 2009.
Smith was on the Iowa arena team this season.
"This was the first year I did not get on the field, but that was kind of political because they were trying to sell tickets by playing the home-grown talent," he said.
Smith said he patterns his coaching style after former ULL Defensive Coordinator Brett Pry, who is at Georgia Southern now.
"Coach Pry really helped me a lot and showed me a lot that has carried over to todayas," Smith said. "He pushed me and made sure I took care of business in the classroom. I called him after I got my degree and thanked him for all he did for me."
Smith will be helping with running backs, wide receivers and linebackers at Ferriday.
"It gives me chills thinking about running back on the field here," he said. "There's just a handful of former players who came back here. I feel like I am in a special group.
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