TRUCKEE, Calif. — Louden Smith could hurt the opposition on multiple fronts.
A rangy 6 foot 4 inches, the Truckee senior spun a mean spiral at quarterback, kicked an accurate field goal under pressure and packed a surprisingly physical punch on defense. Combined with his athleticism on a basketball court, he stood out as the Sierra Sun’s Male Athlete of the Year from Truckee High School.
“Louden is extremely athletic,” said Josh Ivens, head coach of the Truckee football team. “I always thought Louden could play at the next level and be successful with his speed and height.”
Smith, who came out for basketball his senior year and immediately proved to be an impact player, was one of the last remaining pieces of a historic Truckee football era in which the Wolverines won four consecutive state championships and made national news with a 41-game win streak.
“He was a major contributor to our state championship run and our win streak,” Ivens said.
Smith’s contributions at QB his junior season indeed helped the Wolverines accomplish their four-peat. Filling in admirably for senior starter Erik Holmer, who suffered a nagging thumb injury on his throwing hand early in the season, Smith completed 24 of his 37 pass attempts for 469 yards, with six touchdowns and only one interception. He posted a quarterback rating of 137.
As one of three captains his senior year on a rebuilding Truckee team, Smith earned All-League honorable mention at quarterback and cornerback and first-team honors as a kicker. He threw for 1,203 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He converted 17 of 20 PATs and 4 of 6 field goals, with a long field goal of 40 yards.
“He was a very consistent kicker and has a great leg,” Ivens said, adding that Smith might have been the Wolverines’ best receiver, too, had he played that position. “He’s a very coachable kid, a poised kid, and he’s very physical too. I don’t know if people realized how physical of a guy he can be. He’s a physical defensive player even though he was our quarterback too. And he’s deceptively fast once he’s moving.”
Smith came out for basketball in the winter and proved that his athleticism is not limited to the gridiron. With his height, speed and explosiveness, he made the Wolverines a better team from Day 1.
“He’s tall and athletic, that’s for sure. And he’s aggressive and competitive,” said Truckee basketball coach Sky Nelson. “He brought a lot to the team just because of those factors. He was definitely an impact player. I could use another one of him next year. He’s a good kid.”
In his first year coaching at Truckee, Nelson also welcomed Smith’s ability to provide humor and lighten the mood of a team.
“He has a good sense of humor. I wish I had him for three years to develop him as a basketball player,” he said. “He could have been a real good one.”
Smith plans to join the U.S. Navy after high school.