The Cali Kid: Javion Smith

Javion at the basketball intramural games. Source: Daniel Martinez

College presents an opportunity to be surrounded by people from all over the world. One of the coolest, most laid back guys on the GU track team is one of the folks that came to GU from far away. This man is a sophomore named Javion Smith.

Smith came from Vallejo, California to Illinois. It has been a process for him to adjust to school, being a two-sport athlete, and life so far from home. Making that huge change of lifestyle, Smith struggled with homesickness as a freshman at Greenville University. It took him nearly six months to adjust to the weather and different surroundings.

Who wouldn’t feel weird transitioning from walking on the beach in nice, 80-degree weather every day, to the bipolar midwest where one day it’s 70 degrees on Monday, then snowing by Wednesday? The weather extremities take a toll on this Cali kid, but getting back on track as Smith’s freshman year football season went by, he was able to manage the lifestyle of Greenville with his friends making the college experience amazing.

Smith (#29) praying before his game. Source: Dana Fitch

Beginning his track career at Armijo High School as a freshman, Smith’s natural talent and speed allowed him to dominate all four years of high school. Not everyone is gifted with the speed and it usually takes handwork and dedication. Running track is something Smith loves to do and is passionate about. He is a huge competitor in every sport he does, pushing others to match his competitiveness and making others around him better, too.

Everyone has a saying or a quote they go by to help them through life. Smith has a pretty straight forward quote, but it speaks volumes behind the kind of guy Smith is. The quote he goes by is, “Only the strong survive.”

He described it as, “Pretty self-explanatory. It means only the strong will survive everyday struggles rising above adversity.”

Life throws all types of situations at you, but you choose whether or not to go on. If you are a survivor, then the sky’s the limit!

Smith (#29) reading the offense. Source: Dana Fitch

Smith traveled all the way from the ocean shores of California to Greenville University because he wanted to continue his sports career, academics, and the best options for his major of Biology.

Only being a sophomore, Smith has carried a role unlike the other athletes on his teams. On the track team, there aren’t many jumpers, but he is seen as one of the leaders of the jumpers because he has the most experience with good marks and techniques. Coaches and other athletes look up to him to lead, even though he’s not an upperclassman. When needed, Smith will run in some of the relays, such as the 4×100.

While he is a dual-sport athlete, football was Smith’s first sport at GU. Freshman year he played the whole season and helped the Panthers offense as a slot receiver, and near the end of fall camp his sophomore year, he converted to a safety. “It was different at first,” said Smith, but not too different because all his years of playing football he had experience in a variety of positions. However, it was difficult because the change of positions is at the collegiate level. Smith started five games as the safety for the Panthers this season and looks forward to his upcoming junior season.

Smith is motivated to continue to run track is his love to compete. In football, he competes but it’s more of a team sport. He enjoys track being both a team and an individual sport. Getting better and beating his personal record every meet is exciting to him.

Take notes to Smith’s quote, “Only the strong survive.” This is something that could help you go from good to being great!

Media by Daniel Martinez.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here