Friday night's game versus Byrnes was a great lesson for Woodland and where its football program wants to be in the future.
Despite losing 85-8, it was learning experience that 2011 quarterback/athlete Robert Smith won't soon forget.
"Playing Byrnes was one of the best experiences I've ever had. People are going to look at the score and think we just got beat up and that we played bad," he said.
Though he's got less than two years left in high school, Smith wants to help lay the foundation for Woodland's quest to enjoy the national level success that Byrnes has.
The discipline of the Byrnes players impressed him the most.
"They all did what they had to do to win. They know what they want to be and that's the national champions of high school football," Smith said.
In an environment he compared to a small college, he enjoyed playing on a field that has a jumbotron standing beside it.
"The main point is we want to be there. It's not going to happen over night. It's going to take a few years. We want our city to have that," Smith said.
The next morning he and his Woodland teammates were in Clemson to see the Tigers beat Boston College. Excited about Smith's chance to play at Clemson, some teammates asked him why he hasn't committed yet. Those that hadn't been to a college football game were in awe of the atmosphere.
Smith spent some of the day going through the recruiting process but spent most of the game with his teammates in the West End Zone stands. There in time for the Tiger Walk, a lot of the Woodland players looked forward seeing Da'Quan Bowers and Brandon Ford, guys they've faced on the gridiron.
And of course, they were excited about seeing C.J. Spiller.
Smith's only offer is from Clemson but he feels Georgia and Florida State will come through soon.
"Since I was a little kid, Clemson and Georgia are the two teams I've sat and looked at on Saturday afternoons to see how they play," Smith said. "This is like a dream come true."
Clemson is recruiting him as a quarterback/athlete and he's not sure what Georgia and Florida State have in mind for him.
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