As the rain began to fall Thursday evening in Carrollton, Cass senior Stephen Smith had one final chance to extend his high school career.

The reigning Class 5A state champion in the pole vault needed to clear 15 feet in order to match what Carrollton’s Grant Briscoe had already accomplished. Briscoe, a sophomore, had needed just one attempt to advance past the height, but Smith had failed on his first two tries.

With his opportunity to defend his title on the line, Smith successfully got over the bar. He was then presented with a choice: concede the championship due to needing more attempts at 15 feet or come back Friday to continue.

For Smith, it wasn’t a difficult decision. He was going to do everything he could to win a state title in his final season.

“I said, ‘I have to take it now,’ because I knew the rain would not let up,” Smith said of his final try on Thursday. “I took it, cleared it, and then they had to close it for the rain.

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