Former Avery County Viking Wade Smith continued the family legacy at Furman University.
At the school where his father Terry started the legacy on the football field, baseball diamond and the track, and his sister Shannon had large success on the track, Wade continued the trend with his own unique flair.
Smith, who had to overcome a serious knee injury during his senior season at Avery County High School, earned his scholarship after walking on to the program and was an outside linebacker for the nationally ranked Paladins, making the travel roster for all four seasons of his career.
While contributing to the football program, Smith’s biggest mark was in the classroom.
Smith won the prestigious C. Dan Joyner Athletic Leader Award. The award is presented annually to those who serve as a leader, role model, resource, motivator and encourager and impact both their athletic program and the university.
For the 2018-19 school year, Smith earned the John M. Block Academic Achievement Award as the top scholar-athlete for the entire Paladin athletic department. Smith finished his college career with a 3.8 GPA.
During his college career, Smith was named the Academic All-Southern Conference team all four years, and earned the Southern Conference Commissioner’s Medal in three of his seasons. The Commissioner’s Medal is based on a combination of playing time and earning a 3.8 GPA or higher.
For his academic success, Smith was the only football player and only one of five athletes that were selected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society — which is the oldest and most prestigious honor society since its inception in 1776.
Success wasn’t just limited to college for Smith.
The 2015 Avery County graduate finished with a 4.8+ GPA, and was a four-year starter in baseball and a four-year starter in football for the Vikings. His high school accolades included All-Western Highlands in football and baseball, All-Western North Carolina Team, Region Comeback Athlete of the Year and Region Baseball Player of the Year.
Smith is continuing his academic pursuits, as he began at Wake Forest a few weeks ago and will complete his Masters degree in Business Administration Data Analytics there next May.