Smith Dives Into State Once Again


Photo by Emma Mayne

Kickapoo diver Brett Smith is a three-time state qualifier.

Emma Mayne, Reporter

   When you think of sports at Kickapoo, football, baseball, and basketball normally come to mind first. But, there are some sports are that aren’t as well known.

   Junior Brett Smith is the only diver on the Kickapoo boys swim team, but he doesn’t let that stop him from doing the sport he loves.      

   “I dive because it is a fun and interesting sport. It’s a sport that requires repetition and where other sports force strength, diving is more about technique,” Smith said.

   He first started diving freshman year because his older sister was a diver in high school and she encouraged him to join. Smith also has a history in gymnastics and so he already had a flipping background, which is helpful when diving.

  There are multiple dives that Smith has learned; he can do at least 20 dives, but practices about 12 daily. 

   “You’re gonna flop on your first couple times, no matter what,” Smith said. 

   His favorite and top-scoring dive he does is an inward, which is a front flip off the end of the board. 

   After a diver performs their dive, they get five different scores out of ten from five judges. The highest and lowest scores are dropped and the three middle scores are added together and divided by the difficulty of the dive.

   “The worst part is whenever you go up to the diving board and you think about it too much and you psych yourself out because the longer you think about it, the harder it’s gonna be,” Smith said. 

   Although Smith is the only boy diver at Kickapoo, he knows he isn’t alone when competing.

   “We have other divers from SPS and we’re all cheering on each other and we’re a team,” Smith said. “Most of the divers from SPS, Nixa, Ozark, and Republic go and do stuff together.” 

   The divers from other schools aren’t the only ones supporting Smith, but the swimmers from Kickapoo as well.

   “I enjoy diving because you meet a lot of new people along the way,” Smith said. “Our teammates make us laugh and take our mind off of the scary parts to diving.” 

   But the season isn’t over yet. Right now, Smith is one of the top male high school divers in Missouri. He’s gone to state competition the past two years and is predicted to represent Kickapoo again at state on November 13th.