On Saturday, the varsity football team defeated Belmont Hill, 27-14 to capture the inaugural NEPSAC Danny Smith Championship Bowl. The Big Green has now won its last three NEPSAC bowl games, taking home trophies in 2019 and 2021, against Milton Academy and Brunswick School, respectively.
In the championship game, Zell Lassiter ’24 rushed for three touchdowns and 115 yards, and Malachi Costello ’24 led with 155 rushing yards to help the Big Green earn the victory.
The Big Green defense made eight tackles in the backfield during the game and held the home-side Sextants to 29 yards of total offense in the first half of the game.
Danny Smith ’85, for whom this year’s bowl game was named for his impact on NEPSAC football, is the former longtime head football coach at the Hotchkiss School (2001-2023) and also served as co-director of athletics at Hotchkiss from 2004-2023. In 2023, he was appointed as associate director of admission at Hotchkiss.
The family connections between the Big Green and Coach Danny Smith are strong: Danny Smith grew up at Deerfield Academy, a son of Deerfield’s legendary football coach, Jim Smith. Following his graduation in 1985 as a four-year student at Deerfield, he went on to continue his football career as four-year starter at the University of New Hampshire.
Completing the family circle, Coach Danny Smith’s nephew Charlie Smith ’25 is a current member of the Big Green football team. A great continuation of the Smith Family legacy at Deerfield!
During the regular season, the Big Green posted a 6-3 record with wins coming over Williston, Suffield, Brunswick, Loomis, Andover and Salisbury. With the postseason bowl, the Big Green improved their season record to 7-3.
Boston Herald Article: Led by Lassiter, Costello, Deerfield Academy runs past Belmont Hill
Congratulations on a great season!