Bo Ray and Brayden Smith have been playing football together since they were young children. During recess in grade school, Ray was the best thrower and Smith was the quickest runner.
Through the years Ray and Smith continued their friendship and athletic spirit, and this year the two are teammates on the Deer Creek School varsity football team.
Ray and Smith share the quarterbacking duties at Deer Creek. Ray does most of the throwing. Smith does most of the running.
“They still are learning, but they are both pretty good athletes,” Deer Creel Coach Benny McLendon said. “They just have to continue to work and they will improve each year they play quarterback. They both are good leaders, and they both support each other very well. Bo is a natural passer and that is what he played at Washington School. Brayden, on the other hand, is used to coach (Lee) McIntyre and me and we are more old time football and we like to run it more.”
Coming into Friday night’s home showdown with Humprheys Academy, both Smith and Ray had their best game of the season last week in Deer Creek’s 40-8 road victory over West Memphis Academy. Smith was particularly strong in the game as he rushed for 200 yards.
Neither Smith nor Ray say they have any qualms sharing the quarterback position.
“Bo and I grew up with each other, and we have known each other for a while,” Smith said. We competed with each other for this job, and we both have our ups and our downs. He can throw if better than me, and I respect that. I am just going to do my job for team. Whether I am playing quarterback, running back, wide receiver or safety.”
Said Ray, “I think it words well because I am a throwing quarterback and Brayden is real fast. I think if we put our minds to it, we can definitely go pretty far in the playoffs.”
In nearly three decade of coaching high school football, Coach McLendon said this was only the second or third time he has ever used a two-quarterback system. And, with Ray and Smith being so young this season, McLendon and his staff understand that mistakes will happen.
“We encourage them and try to keep their spirits up because they are both still learning,” the coach said.