Tyrus Smiley has a way of making people smile.
Smiley is a fun-loving guy who likes to laugh and make others laugh as well. He could be described as the team clown, but make no mistake, when Smiley is on the field, he’s all business.
If there has been a revelation for the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck high school football team this season, it has been Smiley.
The 6-2, 170-pound junior, a transfer from Texas who had previously lived in Greenport, seemingly does it all. He plays multiple positions, making it seem as if he has a clone on the field with him.
Running back. Linebacker. Wide Receiver. Punter. Kicker. Punt Returner.
There doesn’t seem to be much Smiley can’t do, and do well.
“He’s a great player,” junior running back/safety Shane Kollen said. “I don’t even have enough good words for that guy.”
Coach Jack Martilotta has been raving about Smiley’s play, and for good reason. He said Smiley leads the team in tackles and sacks. That’s something for a player in his first high school season.
“Tyrus has been playing certainly not like a young man who hasn’t played high school football before,” Martilotta said. “He’s got a great attitude. He works really hard. He never quits. He gets the kids going around him. We’re very fortunate that he came out [for the team] and I got to tell you I hope he sticks with it because he’s really doing something.”
Smiley did a lot for the Porters Friday night in their 39-12 homecoming loss to Amityville. He was put at tailback for the first time this season and produced 71 yards and his first career touchdown (an 18-yarder) from 11 carries. On defense he made seven tackles.
Referring to Smiley’s play on defense, Kollen said: “He’s nuts. His main job is getting the ball. So he kind of just flies around and gets wherever he can and gets to the ball.”
Smiley, who played in junior high school but didn’t enjoy it as much then, said he didn’t expect to be having as good of a season as he is having. “I love the sport,” he said. He added: “It’s a fun sport to play. I missed a few years but it’s great I’m playing this year. I’ll be here next year, too.”
Smiley brings with him a lot of personality and energy.
“He has more energy than any two people,” Martilotta said. “He’s a good kid. He’s always running around and jumping up and talking. He’s full of life.”
Taking note of Smiley’s first career TD, Martilotta said, “I might be hearing about that for the rest of the week.”
• Fonseca, the QB version
Greenport’s first touchdown Friday night came on a pass involving Jordan Fonseca and Ahkee Anderson. Earlier in the season, their roles would have been reversed, but this time it was Fonseca throwing the ball and Anderson catching it for a 10-yard connection.
Because of the lingering affects of a high ankle sprain suffered by Fonseca before preseason practice began, the Porters moved him from running back to quarterback, where the senior has played the last three games.
“I would say this is the first game he looks like the Jordan of old,” said Jack Martilotta.
Fonseca went 3-for-8 passing for 48 yards and an interception. Two of his passes were dropped. He also ran the ball five times for 17 yards.
“He’s doing good,” Tyrus Smiley said. “He’s pretty good as a quarterback, but at running back he’s a beast.”
Photo caption: Tyrus Smiley (13) celebrates his first career touchdown with teammate Michael Foote (72) early in the third quarter. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)