Hood River Valley HS three-sport standout to pursue career in underwater welding

In this High School Spotlight, FOX 12 talks with a Hood River Valley High School Eagle who is welding all of her loves together for senior year.
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 6:21 AM PDT
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HOOD RIVER, Ore. (KPTV) - In this High School Spotlight, FOX 12 talks with a Hood River Valley High School Eagle who is welding all of her loves together for senior year.

Lauraine Smith is one-of-one.

“Most people don’t notice until after the game when I am actually taking off my pads and they realize, ‘oh, that’s a chick,’” Smith said.

The 17-year-old senior is a three-sport standout in track, wrestling and football.

“When I’ll get a good tackle, my teammates are like, ‘You got hit by a girl!’” she said.

Number seven is one of seven kids at home and one of nine Eagle seniors for longtime head coach Caleb Sperry.

“I don’t actually, in my 14 years, know if we’ve had any girls go four years total. It’s kind of the big thing,” Sperry said.

From freshman team to her second year as a two-way player on varsity at running back and linebacker.

“I like defense a lot more because you are able to hit people more and you are getting the tackles, and the guys are always hyping up the tackles,” said Smith.

“It takes toughness and courage to play the game, and those are two things that Lauraine definitely has,” said Sperry.

What about strength in numbers - Smith is still waiting.

“It would be really cool to have another girl on the team,” Smith said. “Because it is kind of lonely, not gonna lie.”

There is no time to be the only one as Smith will soon move from football back to grappling with her first love - wrestling. She finished fourth at state as a freshman, second as a sophomore, and was injured come title time a year ago.

“I actually plan on pursuing a career after wrestling in underwater welding hopefully,” Smith said. “I had just been just interested in welding in general, but I eventually got really into the idea of underwater welding because somebody had suggested it to me and I was just like, that would be kind of cool because that would be something that I’d have bragging rights over.”

Smith will also run the 400-meter dash, the long jump and throw the javelin come the spring for her beloved Eagles - and she sings in the choir too.

If you think you or someone you know deserves a high school spotlight, please reach out to Nick Krupke at nick.krupke@kptv.com.