West Player of the Month – October: Braden Smith

D1A Rugby: West Player of the Month – October: Braden Smith

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Teams in the West Conference know of few certainties when it comes to playing Air Force: they’ll be fit, hard-nosed and well-disciplined. Add a dangerous speedster on the edge like West Player of the Month Braden Smith, and that’s a lot for opposing teams to handle.

Smith began the month of October with a try-scoring effort in the Zoomies’ defeat to Colorado State, and followed that performance up with a four-try game against Wyoming. While the junior from Walkersville, Md., has been gaining plenty of attention for his try-scoring strike rate, he’s also made his presence felt defensively, as well.

“Braden has consistently been a spark in the USAFA offense,” said Air Force Head Coach Denny Merideth. “He has also become a defensive anchor on the outside, and covers the pitch relentlessly backing up his full back and defending against kicks into space.”

It hasn’t just been the 15-a-side game that Smith has put his stamp on during October. The Management major found his way to the try zone on several occasions when Air Force took a break from its West Conference season to compete at the Oct. 22-23 West Coast Sevens in San Francisco.

The Zoomies are hoping for another big game out of their electric winger when they face rival and fellow military academy Army Friday, Nov. 4, at West Point.

Big Ten Player of the Month – Bryce Campbell, Indiana

Rugby East Player of the Month – Job Kim, Army

Red River Player of the Month – Parker Vincent, Baylor