After a few tough seasons, the Sun Valley football program looked to one of their own to right the ship. Ryan Smith, who graduated in 2012, was hired in December and has returned to his alma mater to lead Spartans' football.
Like many high school programs, Sun Valley football has endured a lot over the last few years. Coaching changes and Covid struck the program amidst trying to move on from losing all-world quarterback Sam Howell to graduation.
For those living in a cave, Howell has since graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and is now on the NFL's Washington Commanders roster.
Smith and his staff have a lot of work to do. The Spartans finished 2-8 last season and 1-4 in Southern Carolina Conference. Sun Valley hasn't won more than two games in a season since 2019.
I caught up with Smith yesterday as he ended team practice before departing for a team camp at Wingate, which starts today. Below, Smith discusses returning to Sun Valley and the process of building the program back to its winning ways.
(I apologize for the audio, as the morning wind was a bit gusty, and I forgot the tool that helps reduce the "wind noise" at home).