Reid's efforts put Leopards on grid map

October 11, 2008

SMITHSBURG -- Carroll Reid said Friday he was asked to do two things when he began teaching at Smithsburg High School.

"They asked me to start a football program and make Smithsburg High School the center of the community," Reid said.

As he looked at the hundreds of Smithsburg alumni surrounding him on the school track, he added, "I think we've done that."

Without a doubt.

Former and current Smithsburg players, coaches and fans lined the track and formed a pathway to center stage for Reid, who was honored after the Leopards' 49-14 win over Brunswick.

They all cheered as Reid's wife, Virginia, led the longtime coach through the parting masses in his wheelchair. The fans then circled, as many as 12 deep in some places, with Reid smack dab in the center.


That was fitting, given that Reid made Smithsburg one of the central players in high school football in Maryland for so long. He coached the Leopards from 1967 to the midway point of the 1997 season, racking up 206 wins and four state titles in that time.

The Leopards won another state title -- in 1976 -- without Reid, who was battling cancer at the time.

"Some doctor said then he only had a year to live," said Brian Smith, one of Reid's former players who planned Friday's ceremony. "Fortunately they didn't know what kind of a fighter Carroll Reid is."

Smith started a drive to have the Smithsburg athletic field named in Reid's honor. He and his committee will make a presentation to the Washington County Board of Education on Oct. 21.

Smith said a petition with 633 signatures needs to be presented to the board in order to go forward with the renaming of the field. As of Friday night, there were close to 1,800 signatures.

Smithsburg mayor Mickey Myers, Washington County Commissioners Bill Wivell, Jim Kercheval and Kristin Aleshire and State Delegate Andrew Serafini all made presentations to Reid.

Leopards quarterback Kyle Orndorff presented Reid with the game ball from Friday's victory.

"Coach Reid always seemed like a second grandfather to me," said Orndorff, whose father, Buddy, coached with Reid for 23 years and took over the Leopards when Reid stepped down.

"He basically took me under his wing and taught me everything I know about football," Buddy Orndorff said. "We were on a lot of highways at 2 a.m. together, got lost all over the state of Maryland together and I got to know him a lot deeper than most coaches get to know each other.

"He is Smithsburg football."

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