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Shaun Smith remembers going to Livermore football games when he was younger, struggling in what has always been a grueling East Bay Athletic League slate.
“When I was in middle school going to the games and even my freshman year, we were like 2-8, 3-7 and all that,” Smith said. “We went up each year.”
And with Smith and company coming up through the program, the Cowboys’ program has certainly gone up every single year.
Livermore went 4-7 during Smith’s sophomore campaign, when he was pulled up to the varsity roster for its first round North Coast Section Division II matchup against crosstown rival Grandada – a day when Smith elevated himself and showed he belongs at not only the varsity level, but also at the collegiate level.
“I think probably my sophomore year when I got pulled up to varsity and when I was pulled up to varsity it was a playoff game and I scored two touchdowns,” Smith said. “I was like, ‘Okay, maybe I can do this. Maybe I can go to the next level.’”
From there, Smith’s profile only boosted each and every time he went on the field, leading a resurgence for the Livermore Cowboys entering what is now his final year of high school.
Smith and the Cowboys went 6-5 in 2019 and made it to their second consecutive NCS postseason appearance, marking their best – and first winning – season during the MaxPreps era, which dates back to 2004. They also finished in second in the EBAL Valley Division, only behind Amador Valley, who was undefeated against divisional foes.
With that success has come opportunities to play college football, as Smith – also a star in the classroom as he boasts a 3.7 GPA – holds offers from Whittier and Lewis & Clark, both of which are Division III schools. Lewis & Clark offered Smith on Sept. 14, which was just one day after another strong showing at the Best Coast Showcase.
More growth has been shown for Smith, too, who said he has added 15 pounds over the past two months and has increased his maxes in the weight room.
“It’s been going great,” Smith said. “I’m taking this whole COVID thing as a blessing really, getting my offseason elongated, so I’ve just been working really hard, putting on weight, working every day with my team and players and all that. The offseason has been going great.”
For his senior season, Smith is ready to elevate the Livermore program even more and leave it in the best hands possible for the younger players rolling through.
“I don’t even know the last time we won one,” Smith said. “I think it was the 80s or something like that, so to put that banner up in our gym, it would be amazing, a great moment for our entire school and our entire town.”
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