Big Sandy Residents Watch As Lovie Smith Goes For Super Bowl - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/21/07-Big Sandy

Big Sandy Residents Watch As Lovie Smith Goes For Super Bowl

For the first time ever, an African American head coach will lead his team to the Superbowl, and the history-maker is from East Texas.

Lovie Smith grew up in Big Sandy where he lead the Wildcats to three state championships.  As a former NFL "Coach of the Year", he's become one of the brightest minds in pro-football.

Today, KLTV 7's Lindsay Wilcox watched with supporters from his old neighborhood, as Lovie Smith coached his way into the annals of sport.

With three field goals in the first quarter, the Bears took an early 9-0 lead, but that wasn't good enough for a group of proclaimed football fanatics from Big Sandy.

The guys at this watch party grew up in the neighborhood where Lovie Smith was raised. A neighborhood so proud, they've named his old street after Smith. The Big Sandy residents say watching his success has been like nothing else they've ever experienced.

Mark Brown says, "We don't have that much down here, but we've got one that made it to the league."

When the Saints snuck in a touchdown near the end of the second quarter, the mood changed on the field and at the watch party.

When they scored again, the Smith supporters were left a little uneasy.

Nakia Derrick says, "I'm somewhat confident, but I'm shaken right now. We need more points than this. They're a good offensive team."

Dinky Derrick knew Smith had it in him to take back the momentum the Saints had so slyly taken away. He says he was one of the few players Smith coached at the beginning of his career in Big Sandy.

"I was in seventh grade, and it was a good season that year. It's great, man. Coming from where he was to today, it's unbelievable," says Derrick.

In the end, the Bears runaway with the game in a 39-14 victory. The Smith fans say when Superbowl Sunday roles around, they'll be watching as the kid from Big Sandy tries to lead the Bears to a history-making win.

Lindsay Wilcox, Reporting:


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