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Loyola’s Avain Smith kicking toward his Army dreams

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    SHREVEPORT, LA (KTBS ) — Avain Smith is working on being a Division I kicker, but has been familiar with the Army his entire life thanks to his dad.

“He was in the miliary for 30 years. Way before I was born.”

After spending his early years on Fort Polk near Leesville and then growing up in Shreveport, Smith would travel with his dad to Vicksburg, Mississippi, home of the 412th Theater Engineer Command, “My dad, I always tagged along with him and I was always kind of interested in them (the Army).”

Those trips helped formulate a goal to one day attend West Point, “In the military, it’s like football. The brotherhood and they care about one another and it’s a team.”

Serving his country is literally in Smith’s blood, but getting involved in kicking – not so much, “I didn’t really start kicking until the spring of my seventh grade year. It was kind of a joke at P.E.”

Over the years Smith worked on his technique and is now the starter at Loyola. He was supposed to attend camps at Alabama and SMU this summer, but Covid-19 restrictions put that on hold, “It kind of drives me to be a better kicker, you know? That I’m not going to probably get the opportunity to go on these campus visits in the summer, so I have to grind 100 times more.”

While kicking at a top D-I school is the primary goal, Smith isn’t limiting his options, “If it doesn’t work out athletically at West Point and I do get the opportunity to go to West Point, I wouldn’t pass up on the opportunity.”

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