Undaunted by Thursday afternoon’s gray skies and the drizzle of an approaching rainstorm, the members of Montpelier High School’s baseball and track teams were joined by school officials and sports fans to commemorate the naming of the Peyton Smith Field. Smith, who graduated in 2020, died October 21 of a rare bone cancer.
Montpelier High School Athletic Director Matt Link spoke about Smith’s impact at the school. “While here at MHS, sports were certainly a passion of Peyton’s. As the manager of the basketball team, Peyton was the number one fan on the bench as the boys’ team made it to the state finals last year, and he was always a source of support in his two years on the team. As a member of the baseball team, Peyton’s excitement for the sport and joy of being with his teammates, even as his body fought against cancer, was something that could only be looked at as brave and fearless while inspiring to everyone around him,” Link said.
Two of Smith’s former classmates and teammates, Marshall Donahue and Cabot Hart, presented Peyton’s baseball and basketball jerseys to his parents, Matt and Dani Smith.
Peyton, along with playing sports, aspired to become a sneaker designer. As a part of Peyton’s Make-A-Wish, he created his own Air Jordan 4 at the Nike headquarters and had dreams of one day creating his own design for sneakers, Link explained.
“Our motto at the school is, take care of yourself, take care of each other, and take care of this place. During Peyton’s time here he exemplified that mentality and impacted everyone he met in a positive way. We could not be more proud to call Peyton an alum of our school and a member of our community today and forever,” Link said.
After graduating from MHS, Smith had been accepted to the University of Oregon, Baylor, St. Michael’s, Kent State, Drexel, and Wentworth Institute of Technology. His younger brother, Keegan, is currently a freshman playing on the MHS baseball team. Keegan connected on the first pitch of the game, igniting a 13–5 victory over Oxbow following the ceremony.