Tiger Student Spotlight: DSHS Junior Ana Smith
February 5, 2021
The following story is the first installment in the Tiger Student Spotlight series where DSISD will feature students from each of the district’s seven campuses.
Few teenagers know what career path they want to take once they begin college, much less just over halfway through high school. But, that’s the case for Dripping Springs High School junior Ana Smith. And chasing that dream became a bit more of reality last fall as she became a student coach for the Tiger football team.
Women and girls have begun breaking barriers in the sport of football, a sport that has included few women in its history. But over the last year, females are starting to be included more and more … from high school and college players to professional coaches and officials. And in Dripping Springs, Texas, another is emerging.
After growing up competing in swimming, Smith moved to the more team-oriented sport of softball. However, her interests now have completely shifted from a role as a player to one as a coach.
But just helping out with the Tiger football program is not the ceiling for Smith as she hopes to continue her student coaching role in college and gain enough experience to one day coach in the NFL.
“From high school I’d love to go into college and be a student coach and learn as much as I can about this game that I love and gain a lot of experience from different coaches and different points of view,” Smith said. “Then I’d love to go into the NFL and become a coach.”
Prior to the 2020 football season, Smith met with DSHS head football coach Galen Zimmerman about her career path and wanting to join the Tiger coaching staff as a student coach.
“I’ve had some kids that wanted to be coaches … students who love football but couldn’t play football and didn’t want to be a manager,” Zimmerman said. “Obviously, this is the first time that it was a female student.”
Smith hopes to continue to gain more knowledge about the sport and learn more on the offensive side of the ball after spending a majority of her time with defense in her first season.
“I think she’s done great,” Zimmerman said. “She’s a student of the game. She’s got as good a mentality as any young person that I’ve seen. She asks good questions, she’s studious and writes things down. She’s constantly studying and wants to know the “why” part of certain things. She’s started to find her voice.”
Entering her senior year this fall, Smith will hope to play a part in another postseason run for the Tigers and position herself to continue chasing her dream.