Smothers, Warhawks battling for top spot in conference

By Levi Gilbert

A slow start to the season hasn’t slowed down senior Gavin Smothers and the Mt. Vernon-Enola Warhawks at all. After five consecutive losses in November, the Warhawks found their flight, going 7-2 to close out the year. 

With state tournament memories still lingering from his sophomore year, Smothers and his teammates have big goals for the rest of the way as the Warhawks pick up play again here in the new year. 

Mt. Vernon-Enola High School’s Gavin Smothers is a member of this year’s 501 Basketball Team, sponsored by Conway Regional Health System, First Security Bank, Velda Luders of Coldwell Banker RPM Group and Moix Equipment and Toy Company. (Mike Kemp photo)

“I want to get better every day and lead the team the best I can,” Smothers said. “We want to win district, win regions and make a run at the state tournament by working hard on and off the court. I love the competition and traveling all over the state.”

Smothers was selected to this year’s 501 Basketball Team — 40 players representing the best the 501 has to offer both on and off the court. The team is sponsored by Conway Regional Health System, First Security Bank, Velda Luders of Coldwell Banker RPM Group and Moix Equipment and Toy Company. The senior was nominated by head coach, Drew Blocker, who is in his first year at Mt. Vernon-Enola.

“Gavin was a 3-point shooter and defender on the team last year,” Blocker said. “He has an ability to shoot the ball, handle pressure and defend at a high level. Gavin is a willing passer, has a high basketball IQ and has a calming presence on the floor.

“I expect that Gavin will shoot the ball at a high level and be a great defender. I also expect him to take on a leadership role and really have a breakthrough senior season. Being in my first year at the school, Gavin has been a great leader for our group. He exhibits all the qualities that we want players in our program to have. He is tough, hardworking, coachable and overall a great young man.”

Outside of Mt. Vernon-Enola High School’s halls, Gavin assists a local 6U softball team and works on the family farm. He’s a member of Future Farmers of America. In addition to basketball, he plays baseball for the Warhawks and also participates in rodeo. His hardworking attitude extends off the basketball court. The senior works in construction and has a side project of working on his 1978 Ford F150. 

Mt. Vernon-Enola picks up 1A-4 conference play playing host to Wonderview at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 7.

Levi GIlbert