By JP WIDNER
Radford- Two Bobcat football players signed recently with colleges to fulfill their childhood dreams and further their education. After both high school seniors were recruited by numerous colleges including Union College, Ferrum College, Randolph-Mason, Bridgewater, Eudicutt, Kings College, Hampton-Sydney, and Emory & Henry, the huge decision was finally made. Sean Smith committed with the Bluefield College Rams of Bluefield, VA. The Rams are members of Mid-South Conference of the National Association of Inter-Collegiate Athletics (NAIA). Kenny McPeak committed with the Alderson-Broaddus College Battlers of Phillipi, West Virginia. The Battlers are members of the West Virginia Inter-Collegiate Athletic Conference (NCAA Division II).
Sean Smith (5’11” and 210 lbs.) saw playing time as a defensive end and special teams while at Radford High School. During the winter months, Sean was winning most of his 50yd and 100yd freestyle races in the pool under the guidance of Coach Heather Rowland for four years. In the spring time, the future Ram was playing soccer for Coach Greg Wade for three years. Smith has 4.8 second speed in the 40 yd. dash while boasting a 220 lb. bench press, 3.51 second pro-ability drill and a 27.5” vertical jump.
Smith plans on majoring in Athletic Training/Sports Medicine and earning a minor in Criminal Justice while playing for the Rams. “I loved the school, the campus and the people,” said Sean when asked why he chose Bluefield College. “I really connected with the coaches, and I should see playing time right away as a freshman.” Smith was awarded a Presidential Scholarship for his GPA and SAT scores.
The future Ram credits his family, friends and God for his motivation. “All my family were Division I athletes in college,” added Smith. “So there was pressure added on as well. My family loves me, they wish me the best, and they tell me to always remember where I’ve come from. They remind me that God should be #1 in my life and to always have fun.” Sean’s mother, Sharon Moore, has been very supportive.
Kenny McPeak (6’1, 280 lbs.) played offensive line, nose guard, defensive tackle, and tight end for the Bobcats. While in high school, McPeak was a member of the wrestling team, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was active in church (Fairlawn UMC, youth and other activities). He was also taking in dual-enrollment classes at NRCC his senior year.
McPeak plans on majoring in physical education/coaching while at Alderson-Broaddus College. “It was a perfect fit,” the furure Battler explain when asked why he chose the West Virginia college. “It felt like home. It’s a small, private, Christian University and I connected with the football coaches. I’ll get to have playing time right away.” McPeak was awarded the Academic Dean Scholarship, and he wants to return to the area after college to coach football.
“I wanted to be the first person in my family to attend a four year university on an athletic scholarship,” McPeak said when asked what motivated him to get to this point in his life. “My hard work in the weight room has really paid off for me.”
“Kenny’s family is very proud of his accomplishments,” said his mom Dusty Spence. “He has grown into a fine young man who will continue to achieve any goal that he sets. His faith and his high work ethic both on and off the field will be an asset to his team.” Kenny’s father Doug McPeak, mom Dusty Spence, stepdad Curtis Spence and sister Jessica McPeak are all very supportive. Kenny credits God, his family, church family, friends and coaches for his support system.
Both Sean and Kenny have played football since they were six years old, growing up through the rec leagues, middle school and high school. Now, they will move on to the college ranks to play the game that they love four more years while earning a valuable education at the same time. Congratulations for a job well done and good luck in your gridiron future.