HAMLIN — A pair of Lincoln County seniors are among the statistical leaders in Class AAA in West Virginia through eight games in the 2021 regular season.
Running back Isaiah Smith has been a terror for opposing coaches all year long as he has shredded every defense he has faced while linebacker Nolan Shimp has been a force on the defensive side for the Panthers and head coach Bradley Likens.
Smith, who garnered Honorable Mention All-State in 2020 after he ran for 1,254 yards, picked up right where he left off in 2021.
Already in eight games Smith has surpassed that number from a year ago as he has ran for 1,297 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns on 139 carries. That’s good for an average of 9.3 yards per carry and over 162 yards per game.
Smith broke the all-time rushing record in the Panthers 56-12 win against Clay County on Oct. 15 as he has gained 3,444 yards on the ground in his career.
Smith has also made contributions in the passing game as he is also the teams leading receiver catching 15 passes for 307 yards and three touchdowns.
The product of Duvall Middle School has also added two touchdowns via punt returns to give him 17 total touchdowns with still two regular season games to play.
Shimp, who was named Second Team All-State in 2020 by the West Virginia Sportswriters, has been unlockable all season long as he has already topped the 100 tackle mark.
Shimp has been credited with 128 total tackles in eight games with 45 of those being the solo variety and nine tackles coming behind the line of scrimmage.
Despite battling a nagging injury all season long Shimp has been the difference maker Lincoln County needs on that side of the ball as he has also intercepted a team high two passes on the year and returned one of those for a touchdown in the Panthers 52-16 win against Clay County.
He also leads the team in receptions on the offense side with 20 on the season, is tied for the lead in touchdown receptions with three, and second in receiving yards with 244.
Both Shimp and Smith are making a very strong case to once again be named on the Class AAA All-State team by the Sportswriters at seasons end.
They will look to add to their resume in the final two games of the season on Oct. 29 at Riverside and Nov. 5 at Greenbrier East.