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Comfort Zone — How Trey Smith Put Fairfield on the Map
Trey Smith will become the first male athlete from Camas County High School to sign a letter of intent to play college basketball
Published: 1/15/2020 2:08:40 PM
Comfort Zone — How Trey Smith Put Fairfield on the Map

When it came time to prepare for Trey Smith’s first-ever day of school, his mother had a specific task.

“I had to get him a backpack that was big enough to fit his basketball,” Candice Smith said with a laugh. “Because he had to take his basketball to school.”

Smith is in his final season at Camas County High School in Fairfield, as the Mushers prepare to make a run toward the 1A Division-II state tournament in March. But for Smith, who earned first-team All-State honors as a junior, it’s a story that started early and usually included a basketball.

“Basketball has been my favorite sport forever,” Smith said. “I used to go to my dad’s open gym and watch him play.”

Even before those early dribbling days, he received a basketball hoop for his first birthday. The ball sat on his bed with him at night while he slept. He watched and he played. And played. And played.

“He always had a basketball in his hands, he was constantly dribbling in the kitchen or down the hallway,” Candice said. “He always played basketball. It was always his go-to, his comfort zone.”

Camas County has just 50 students enrolled, so students have to play multiple sports to keep their teams afloat. They don’t always do it for themselves. They do it for their school, their friends and their community. 

In a town like Fairfield, if the basketball players didn’t play football, there likely wouldn’t be a football team. To that end, Smith was an honorable mention All-Conference football player this past fall. However, his game is in the gym, not on the gridiron. 

Last season, the 6-foot-1 guard averaged 19 points per game and surpassed 1,000 career points in a Musher uniform.  He’s faring even better as a senior, averaging nearly 25 points per game for a team that is receiving votes in the weekly, state-wide coaches poll while playing in a conference that features two top-five teams in Lighthouse Christian and Carey.

The production on the court has led to college coaches learning how to find Fairfield on a map. 

Smith has options and plans to play in college. When he makes his decision, he’ll become the first male athlete ever from Camas County High School to sign a letter of intent to play college basketball.

“It’s cool,” Smith said of the attention and college opportunities. “I love Fairfield. I feel like it gives a lot of kids hope that they could get recruited, too.”

First things first, however. The Mushers have a talented team with a chance to qualify for the state tournament. The task is tough, though, with defending state champion Lighthouse Christian, perennial power Dietrich, a strong Carey program and good teams in Richfield and Murtaugh among the squads competing with Camas County for two berths out of District 4. 

Last spring, Camas County fell in the district title game to Lighthouse Christian before losing to Carey by three points for the district’s second automatic berth. 

Then, in a play-in game, the Mushers were edged by Rockland by just two points. The team was just a couple of bounces away from reaching the state tournament for the first time in 15 years. Smith was there, though, as his dad was an assistant coach for the team when the Mushers qualified in 2005. Now he and his teammates have a chance to bring the story full circle over the next two months.

“It would be awesome to make it to state this year,” Smith said. “We haven’t gone to state in basketball in a very long time, so it would be very special for our town and the team.”

Smith’s imprint on the program isn’t likely to end when the final horn sounds. He’s one of just two seniors in head coach Jamon Frostenson’s program and his twin younger brothers will be transitioning into high school at Camas County next season. Smith volunteers with the school’s junior high program, helping prepare the next wave of Musher stars.

“Because he has been such a huge advocate, he has helped create an interest in basketball showing up in his peers and trickling downward in the school that we haven't had a in a long, long time,” Frostenson said. “Community interest has gone up and as such the commitment level and buy-in has skyrocketed in our youth programs especially in our junior high. He is really great working with the younger kids who idolize him.  Because of which, we are going to have very competitive teams for a long time to come.”


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