“That’s really all you need,” Smith said. “Even larger schools like Byrnes limit themselves to 45 players.”
Smith said that the top 45 players who try out will make up the varsity squad. The underclassmen who do not make the varsity squad will be assigned to either the junior varsity or “C” team.
“It’s kind of tough for a senior who comes out for the first time,” Smith said. “If you don’t make the varsity team, you can’t play on the JV or C team. But there is a place for everybody in our football program. It may not be on the varsity squad. It may be as a student manager or trainer. But there is a place for everyone.”
Smith said that loading up the roster with players who will never see playing time is not fair to the players.
“With the kind of commitment and sacrifice we’re going to ask of our players, it really would not be fair to ask a kid to give that much while knowing he would never see any playing time during the games,” Smith said.
Smith said the number of players on the sidelines has nothing to do with winning or losing.
“It’s all about the commitment and character of those 11 on the field,” Smith said. “I’d rather had 45 committed players than 200 guys with no heart.”