2017 Chicago Sun-Times All-Public League football team

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Raby’s Danquis Smith (4) jumps over Morris defenders. November 18, 2017. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

Danquis “DQ” Smith is a sparkling Chicago Public Schools success story. The Raby senior was selected as the First Team running back on the All-Public League football team, but he’s so much more.

Smith has a 3.80 GPA, he’s seventh in his class academically. He’s earned those grades while never having a free second to spare. Smith plays football in the fall, wrestles in the winter and then kicks things up a notch in the spring when he plays baseball and runs track.

“It’s crazy but my track coach and baseball coach are cool with it,” Smith said. “We are usually able to work out a way where I can play both sports.”

Smith plays second base for the baseball team and runs the 200 meter dash and 400 relay in track. That track speed is what college coaches will be interested in. Smith is small, 5-6 and 170-pounds.

“Most of the schools I’m talking to are telling me that they want to get me out in space,” Smith said. “Some think I’m a slot back or a scat back, to get out in space and look for mismatches.”

Size didn’t hinder him a bit this season. Smith averaged 8.9 yards a carry and scored 21 touchdowns in 13 games. He was the key offensive force for the most successful West Side football team in recent history.

Raby advanced all the way to the Class 4A semifinals, where it lost to Morris.

“We’re all really proud of what we accomplished,” Smith said. “It felt like we had the whole West side supporting us during the playoff run.”

The West Side is basketball-obsessed, even more so than the South side. Smith likes knowing he has played a part in starting to change that a little.

“Most definitely,” Smith said. “This year we had almost twice as many kids in the JV program as last year. I’ve tried to get other people out to try something new. But it’s hard. Basketball has the upper hand.”

Smith doesn’t have a college scholarship offer yet. Indiana Wesleyan and some Division 3 schools have been showing some interest. He’s a football player first, but isn’t ruling out playing other sports in college.

Raby coach D’Angelo Dereef deserves plenty of credit for what is happening at Raby.

“[Dereef] has invested so much of his personal time into the program,” Smith said. “That’s changed everything. Seeing someone that engaged really made the whole team believe. We knew he was invested in it and that gave us the same vision.”

2017 Chicago Sun-Times All-Public League Football Team

Offense

QB Quincy Patterson II, Solorio, Jr.

RB Craig Elmore, Phillips, Sr.

RB Danquis Smith, Raby, Sr.

WR Fabian McCray, Phillips, Jr.

WR Joshua Bufkin, Lindblom, Sr.

WR Jayshon Jackson, Simeon, Sr.

OL D’andre Hicks, Curie, Sr.

OL Piotr Krupa, Taft, Jr.

OL Kenny Givens, Hubbard, Jr.

OL Trevon Hill, Raby, Jr.

OL Quincy Tabb, Morgan Park, Sr.

ATH Alante Brown, Simeon, Sr.

ATH Eli Geleerd, Payton, Sr.

KR Monte Tillman, Raby, Sr.

K David Seward, Payton, Sr.

Defense

DL Queneil Morrison, Phillips, Sr.

DL Christian Godfrey, Al Raby, Sr.

DL Tierre Turner, Simeon, Sr.

DL Marquis Burks, Curie, Sr.

LB Terrance Taylor, Phillips, Sr.

LB Donovan Baldwin, Raby, Sr.

LB CJ Rutherford, Lindblom, Sr.

DB Montrell Evans, Hubbard, Jr.

DB Joseph Thompson, Phillips, Jr.

DB Romel Goston, Raby, Jr.

DB Isaiah Morrison, Solorio, Sr.

P J’Bore Gibbs, Phillips, Sr.

2017 Chicago Sun-Times All-Public League Honorable Mention Team

Offense

QB Tyshun Turnipseed, Raby, Sr.

RB Marquell Peggs, Vocational, Sr.

RB AJ Sanya, Curie, Jr.

WR Kolbe Pruitt, Perspectives, Sr.

WR Mark Aitken, Kenwood, Jr.

WR Terrance Shannon, Lincoln Park, Sr.

OL Demerick Morris, Phillips, So.

OL Daniel Piolet, Curie, Jr.

OL Finn Marino, Mather, Jr.

OL Jalin Jordan, UP-Bronzeville, Jr.

OL Taylor Lewis, Kenwood, Sr.

KR Marcus Kilpatrick, Orr, Sr.

KR Benjamin Little, Morgan Park, Sr.

K Marek Klimek, Taft, Sr.

Defense

DL Alexander Perkins, Morgan Park, Sr.

DL Sam Toribio, Back of the Yards, So.

DL Tronzell Rogers, Marshall, Sr.

DL Johnny Collins, UP-Bronzeville, Jr.

LB Julian Ortiz, Solorio, Sr.

LB Kenyea Houston, Westinghouse, Sr.

LB Omar Owenah, Mather, Sr.

DB Levell Clark, Morgan Park, Sr.

DB Jovan Roberts, Sullivan, Jr.

DB Derrell Little, Orr, Sr.

PR Sirshaun Gardner, Raby, Sr.

PR Quasha Barr, Harper, Jr.

ATH Bryce Walker, Lindblom, Sr.

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