The Westwood High School Warriors defeated rival team the Dobson Mustangs 30-19 on August 24 in the Warriors’ first game of the season. The Warriors kept a good lead against the Mustangs throughout the first and second quarters of the game. By the third quarter, the Mustangs added points to the board, making the score 16-7; Westwood responded with another touchdown, bringing the score up to 23-7. In the fourth quarter, both teams fought hard to put points on the board, but the Warriors finished the game with the win.
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member Daniel Smith, Jr. (No. 57) helped lead his team to the victory. The sophomore started his varsity football career as starting left guard. He is one of five sophomores who are starting on this year’s team.
“It was very exciting that we won,” said Smith about their first victory against the Mustangs. “There was pressure to win, since last year’s team only won one game the whole season.”
This year the Warriors have a new coach, Spencer Stowers, to help them recover from the 1-9 record last year.
“I have to go in every week ready to work and have confidence in the team,” said Smith as he explained how he has prepared himself to get to the point where he can be a starter for the team. “We’ve been working since last March, working out and preparing for the season. As a starter, it’s important that I know how to do my job, and more importantly, that I do it well.”
Smith hopes that he and the rest of the Warriors players stay strong and healthy and make the playoffs this year.
Smith is the son of Daniel Smith, Sr. and Davina Dallas and is no stranger to sports. He participated in wrestling, flag football and cross-country at Carson Junior High and was on the Westwood freshman football team last school year as the offensive tackle.