When an interested athletic fan gets into a conversation about Dallas’ sports and achievements, it does not take long before the topic becomes “The Smith Brothers: Greg, Bobbie, and Steve”. Theirs is a story of hard work, reward for effort and hard work, and just plain determination…and hard work.
The Smith story can be traced to Patricia (Zentz) Smith, a Dallas citizen at birth and Harold Smith, a transplant from Denver, Colorado. Pat was a graduate of the class of ’46, Dallas High. She took private dance lessons, gymnastics, and ran track. She did, as women students ‘of the time’ could do, to be active, throwing her support behind the guys as a pep club member as well as cheerleader.
Harold graduated from West High in Denver where his talents were evident as a basketball team co-captain, and also on the gridiron. Eventually, their athleticism and support would have great effect on their children. Harold and Patricia had four children: Cheryl, Greg, Bob, and Steve.
Cheryl (Smith) Jenkins, as oldest sibling, set the tone for her younger brothers. Although there were no competitive sports for young women in her high school era, she wasted no time showing ‘the boys’ she was a champion. Her winning of the Athletic Trophy at the annual church camp that drew young people from throughout Oregon, inspired at least one of her brothers to “do his best” and the desire to be the best. Greg took that trophy as a personal goal setter. Cheryl’s athleticism would probably have been equal to that of her brothers, but was not lost as it is strong in her children’s lives.
Greg, challenged in his heart by that Trophy of Cheryl’s, started his athletic career plan in middle school. He realized size would sometimes be an unequal part of the equation but he worked hard. “I worked hard at everything I did. If it meant working harder to be one of the best, I did it. If ‘they’ were bigger than me, I would just work harder.” Dallas sports were not excelling in the late sixties, so when Greg’s class (DHS ‘69/’70) were watching the Dragons fall to the Oregon City football team, while sitting in the ‘new stadium’, Greg and his buddies determined there would be no 0-42 score for them when it was their turn. “We were going to turn this thing around, and we did!” Greg’s Class of 1970, won the league championship in football, posting a 9-0 record (1969 football season). They also had a 25 win and 3 loss record in basketball, and finished 16-3 in baseball. This same year the track team was District champions over Tigard. This same class boasted strong participation in choir, band, and all other school activities.
Greg achieved many personal rewards; All-League Defensive Back, All-League/All-State Center Fielder (baseball). Greg’s baseball skills took him to Mt. Hood Community College and on to Oregon College of Education, now Western Oregon University. All these experiences in time have given Greg his life’s work with young people as a teacher and coach in Dallas schools. Countless students in his more than twenty-eight year career have had Greg’s enthusiasm, work ethic for their participation and high levels of success evident by achieving so many team titles.
Bobby (Bob) Smith and Stevie (Steve) Smith followed older brother’s achievements and yet, each with their own specialties. Bobby’s abilities shown in football, basketball, and track. Many believe he may have been one of the top running and defensive backs ever to play football for DHS. His future included being recruited for his talents, his speed…developed as early as elementary school (3 gold medals in Junior Olympics resulting in his being on the news channel in Portland!) Bobby was recruited and offered scholarships at major colleges, including Notre Dame, Oregon and Oregon State. Greg offers “my favorite memory of Bob, was watching him intercept seven passes his senior year, and running five of those back, for touchdowns.” Bobby went on to play in the North/South Shriners Game, the All-Star Game, and was selected All-State Defensive Back. He wore the Orange and Black of the Dallas Dragons as a true competitor.
Stevie, Greg’s youngest sibling was 10 years younger than Greg and will probably be a record holder of having been the only ‘little brother’ to have been coached by ‘big brother’ in DHS history, as Greg had the honor of coaching Stevie his senior year, in baseball. But, if Stevie’s older brothers accomplished something once, he did the same several times. He was three-time All-League in football and completed his football career in the North/South Shriner’s game following brother Bobby’s footsteps. Steve became the most recruited and drafted athlete Dallas’s had to date, in both football AND baseball. He took his baseball skills to Oregon State even though he was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies. He stayed with OSU, and was awarded Northern Division Conference First Team Outfielder. He then signed with the Cleveland Indians, after his junior year at OSU, and played in the minor leagues.
During the “Smith Boys” tenure at DHS there were many differences in fielding a team. Only the first place team of a league went on to State, just to name one. Rankings were true to the placing of the team.
These three men who were just kids when the stadium project was generating so much excitement in the future of Dallas’ athletic competition support; it has been about Dragon desire and participation, enthusiasm to fill the stadium “like the old days” (previous to the 90’s) and now the HOPE, “Go Dragons Hope” in the Turf Drive, and that participating and becoming the best will be contagious again.