Athlete of the Week: Kwinton Smith - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Athlete of the Week: Kwinton Smith

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DILLON, SC (WMBF) - Any area football fan has certainly seen Kwinton Smith make a number of spectacular plays during his time at Dillon.  What many don't know is catching the pigskin wasn't his first love.

"Football was a last option for me, I never thought that I would play high school football in my life," said Smith.

Kwinton grew up loving baseball, and it took persistence from his grandfather to get him to try strapping on a helmet and shoulder pads.

"He talked me into it all year and he got all the coaches around and they just kept going at me and wanting me to play football," Smith continued, "So I gave in and tried it and I fell in love with it."

"It wasn't really hard to scope him out, I knew what kind of athlete he was and just tried to convince him that he could be a great football player," said Dillon head coach, Jackie Hayes.

Once Kwinton started playing there was no looking back, Smith helped lead Dillon to one of their most successful stretches in school history.

He capped of his outstanding high school career by signing with the University of South Carolina on Wednesday.

"This not only speaks a lot for himself, but a lot for our program.  The developmental process that we have here at Dillon High School and the sky is the limit," said Hayes.

Beyond the wins and losses, Smith says his fellow Wildcats will always be lifelong friends.

"Playing on this team, it's one of the best things that happened in my life, meeting all these guys and building the close bond that we have, we're like brothers around here," said Smith.

With one Dillon junior and the potential of more to follow Kwinton to USC, Smith hopes to continue the Wildcat tradition in the SEC.

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