Elementary school teachers, friends in Pipestone talk Torrey Smith

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PIPESTONE, Minn. (KSFY) - Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith lived in Pipestone for two years from 1999-2000 and went to Dolson Hill Elementary School.

Even though he was in town for just a short time, he made a lasting impression on his teachers and still has many friends he keeps in touch with in the area.

"Torrey was friends with everybody, everybody liked Torrey, he was a lot of fun," Mary Evink, a family friend whose son Ivan was in class with Smith, said.

"He worked hard he was an active participant in class," Leslie Wajer, Smith's fifth grade homeroom teacher, said.

"He was also great at basketball and baseball," Rick Zollner, his fifth grade social studies teacher said.

Zollner said he wished Smith had stuck around and played baseball. Their team went to the state championship a few times.

"The team probably could've won with Torrey, he was ... he would've been that good," Zollner said.

Both Zollner and Wajer remember Smith fondly; that he was a great student, social and always wanted to be friends with everyone.

Smith was a three sport athlete, four if you count fishing. Evink said it's still one of his favorite past times. Evink still keeps touch with him and their family met up with him in Fargo over the summer.

"Tuesday, when he texted me he said, he thought he was going to come and have dinner with us and then he put it in the GPS and realized it was kind of a long drive," Evink said.

He's also kept in touch with many of his classmates, including Tanya Schroyer, who's now a counselor at Pipestone Middle and High Schools.

"Torrey was my first boyfriend," Schroyer said. "Yyou know, a relationship isn't in fifth grade isn't anything huge. He asked me out, we were on the swings and I said yes and we went to our first fifth grade school dance together."

Schroyer and Smith still keep in touch regularly. He even sent a gift when her first child was born. She's very proud of how far he's gotten.

"It's been wonderful to see," Schroyer said. "I think anybody that knew him, knew he would make it this far, so it's not surprise that he is where is and the person he is."

It's no surprise to anyone else either ...

"As a teacher you always think all of your kids are going places so it doesn't surprise me that's he's been as successful as he has been," Wajer said.

"'Do you think I can play professional football?' is actually what he asked me one time," Evink said. "And my husband just said, 'Well, you know Torrey, as long as you keep you head on straight and you do what you're supposed to and you work hard, I think you've got a shot.'"

The Evinks hadn't even seen Smith play football at that point, but knew how athletic and talented he was.

So who's everyone rooting for on Sunday?

"I am rooting for Torrey," Wajer said. "And long past Sunday."

"I'll be rooting for the Eagles because of Torrey," Schroyer said.

"I'm rooting for Torrey to score four touchdowns and the Patriots to win by one," Zollner said.

"Eagles, unlike some people," Evink said.