Year-in-review: Suffolk grieved the loss of Smither

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 31, 2004

As we take the first steps into 2005, someone will be there with us. Not standing nearby. Not someone we can turn to, laugh with, and speak with as we did for over a decade. Not someone who will be on the sidelines of Lakeland, cheering on his team.

That someone is Edward Smither, who set the path for Lakeland sports. The longtime athletic director for Cavalier athletes, Smither died on Nov. 13.

To all Lakeland athletes, I urge you now to carry on the tradition that Smither helped start for you. I ask all of you to continue with the sportsmanship, effort and teamwork that he did so much to instill in so many. I hope that you will always remember the endless things that he did for Cavalier students and faculty during his time at Lakeland, and make him as proud as you have for so long. Edward Smither never minded if his teams lost a game; he cared that they could keep their heads up afterward. He always hoped that Cavaliers squads would come out on top, but if they did, they still had to be gracious in victory. It wasn’t about winning or losing; it was about improving.

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I hope that we all will remember Smither’s lessons as athletes, and as people. That’s how we can continue to build on his legacy.

Smither is in a better place, but he’ll always be watching us. Though we can’t see him, he’ll live forever in our memories, and in the work we do in Suffolk. To know Smither was to like him; to be like him would be an honor.

Smither did more than his part for Suffolk; now Suffolk has to do its part for him.