Dulles High School defensive tackle thankful to play football again after fracturing his back

FORT BEND COUNTY – A Fort Bend Independent School District student-athlete is sharing his story and inspiring others to never give up on their dreams.

Hezekiah Smith suffered an injury two years ago and almost ended his football career.

Through hard work, determination, and therapy he made it back on the field.

The senior defensive tackle at Dulles High School helped his team defeat Elkins at Mercer Stadium on Saturday.

“It feels really good. It was a team win. We know it’s a win-or-go-home situation for us. We’ve had a hard time this season but it’s not over yet, we can still go to the playoffs. We just came out here and got a good team win,” Hezekiah said.

Hezekiah is #35, and he is happy to be back on the field doing something he loves.

Before transferring to Dulles, Smith fractured his back during a game at Hightower High School.

“It was hard for me. I had to sit out most of my junior year. I only played like two games. I was really down,” he said.

His dad Charles says he could barely walk.

“You try to hold back the tears and be strong for him and it was just hard. He’s asking questions like at that time he was two years younger than he is now so he’s like dad, ‘Will I be able to play again’? I’m like I don’t know lest just focus on the basic stuff,” Charles said.

For months, Hezekiah went through extensive physical therapy and training despite many people telling him his football career was over.

“The doctors were telling me I wasn’t. I had coaches telling me I wouldn’t come back, and I really thought for a second that I wasn’t going to come back but my family kept me up. I just started praying to God,” Hezekiah said.

His prayers were answered, and Hezekiah is back on the field doing what he loves. He was named Defensive game MVP more than once this year, and he’s happy he never gave up.

“I mean, it’s a surreal moment for me. I’m just really happy right now. I’m really happy my team is doing good. We’ve been down and we’ve been hit with a lot of adversity and I’m just glad we can overcome it together. I have a good support system with my family and my team is my family too. I’m just really happy right now,” Hezekiah added.

Hezekiah says he wants the finish the season strong and hopes his team can land a spot in the 6A Playoffs.

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Emmy award winning journalist born and raised in Alabama. College football fanatic and snow cone lover! Passionate about connecting with the community to find stories that matter.