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DARBY — Darby's Nelson Smith was not only one of the state's best quarterbacks, he was also Western C 8-man's best at giving away the football.

That's because Smith was also a first-team all-conference punter. 

Smith's standout senior season netted him a Class C 8-man all-state award at quarterback and inside linebacker, as well as a first-team all-conference kicker award and the all-conference punter nod.

While Clark Fork's Trey Green was named the conference's offensive and defensive MVP, Smith's all-conference awards at four different positions uniquely stand out.

Smith joined both Clark Fork's Bryan Mask and Flint Creek's Kade Cutler as an all-state QB out of the Western C. 

"He’s a college-caliber quarterback. He’s a pocket quarterback, he’s not a big runner, but he can scramble when he needs to," Darby coach Jeff Snavely said earlier in the season of Nelson. "Athletically, (in 2018) when we voted on quarterbacks and everything else, he honestly should have been (the conference’s) No. 1 quarterback, but he wasn’t he was named the No. 2 quarterback."

In 2019, the conference's coaches agreed — Smith belonged with the state's best.

Smith was joined by his brother Preston Smith as well as teammate Deric Parks on the Western C all-conference squads. Preston, a sophomore, was named second-team all-conference at outside linebacker. 

Parks, a junior and the younger brother of since-graduated Dylan Parks, was a second-team all-conference punt returner.

"Brothers follow their brothers footsteps around here in Darby and the Smith boys and the Parks boys are phenomenal and just great athletes," Snavely said earlier in the fall. "Faces change, first names change but the last names on the jerseys stay the same."

Meaning the next crop of talent is waiting in the wings to follow Nelson Smith's all-state season.

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