Damonte Ranch senior wrestler Drew Smith won his fourth straight Division I North Region title Saturday at Reno High, but he'd rather be called a running back.
Smith defeated Shawn Ramos of McQueen by pin in the final and will look to defend his state title in the 160-pound weight class next weekend. He is 35-3 this season.
The halfback also led the North in rushing yards last football season with more than 2,000. Smith had 30 touchdowns and was named a first-team all-state running back.
He could play either sport in college, and has a 3.4 GPA, but he said his football season can't be topped, even if he wins another state wrestling title.
"My doors are still open so if wrestling offers the most, I might go that way, but as of now my mind is set to football, and I think my time with wrestling is almost over," Smith said. "I'm going to miss wrestling, but I have one more week left to enjoy my ride ..."
Smith's Mustangs finished in fourth place as a team as everyone was left chasing Spanish Springs. The Cougars won four weight classes (Ryan Long 113, Rito Hernandez 132, Tyler Beaulac 182, Chase Hauder 285) and placed 12 in the top four of their respective classes.
Spanish Springs finished with 220 points. Carson was second with 155, followed by McQueen at 132.5 and Damonte at 132. It was the Cougars' fourth title in five years and their fourth outright championship since 2008.
Damonte's Smith wouldn't be where he is in either sport without the cross training he received throughout high school. He built speed and misdirection skills in football and mental strength and explosiveness in wrestling.
However, Smith maintains wrestling is the harder sport.
"I tell everyone that I'm as good as I am at football today because of wrestling," Smith said. "Wrestling is a whole different mentality, body shape and everything. I was in good shape for football this season, but when I went in for wrestling training, I was done."
Smith has a secret motivation, according to his mother, Jennifer.
"His whole childhood growing up (was a struggle), going to Bernice Mathews from kindergarten to fifth grade, he made a lot of friends who he's watched go to jail, drop out of school or get in trouble," Jennifer said. "I think he kind of uses that as a challenge to be the best and do the right things."
The all-classification state meet is Friday and Saturday at the Reno Livestock Events Center.