Shining Star: Chewelah's Derek Smith

Chewelah, WA - "We want a league title. I mean that's the main goal for the season," Chewelah senior quarterback Derek Smith says.

A goal that would seem lofty for a team that won just one league game in 2011. But thanks to senior quarterback Derek Smith, the Cougars are already off to a 3-and-oh start in the Northeast-A.

"I knew I had to step up and be a leader this year and just try to win games," Smith admits.

Cougars head coach Jim Fisk adds, "He's like a general out on the field, you know like another coach that can be out there in the huddle because we can't be. He understands the offense very well, he has a very good football IQ."

Shining Star: Chewelah's Derek Smith

And he's good with numbers, which comes in handy when you're named the WIAA state player of the week after putting up these kind of numbers.

"Six touchdowns: three rushing, three passing. 309 yards, 109 yards rushing, and I had an interception on defense," Smith recalls.

That's just one game. For his career, Smith will go down as one of the best in school history.

"He has a chance to set himself aside from some pretty good kids. He has a chance to be top dog," Fisk says.

But breaking records isn't nearly as important to Derek as advancing to the state bracket... something Chewelah hasn't done in over a decade.

"Since I've been in high school we haven't won a cross-over game to go to state, so senior year, all I want to do is just go to state," Smith says.

And maybe grab that league title along the way.