Get to Know Paint Branch Senior and Monmouth Commit Sam Korpoi


Aj Yearwood, Staff Writer

If you attended any PB football games this year, then you saw – or maybe even heard – senior Sam Korpoi patrolling the field as one of the team’s defensive leaders. Korpoi was the leader of a Panther defense that only allowed 9.5 points per game this season; he finished with 68 tackles and two blocked kicks. 

Capping off what was a strong senior season, Korpoi was named First-Team All-State and accepted an offer to continue his football career and education at Monmouth University. However, when Sam began his high school career it wasn’t obvious that he would be a dominant physical player who would play in college. In fact, he was just 5’ 5 his freshman year, 5’9 his sophomore year, 5’11 his junior year, and rose all the way to 6’1 his senior year.

However, for Korpoi, none of what he has been able to achieve would exist without all of the important lessons he learned from PB football and Head Coach Nesmith. According to Sam, some lessons that he learned from Coach Ne are, “work ethic.” He also adds that “With the running, it was good, and the little reminders and hills, I’m going to keep doing that.” Many players on the varsity football team have a genuine bond with one of the team’s leaders, Tay [Octavian Smith].  Sam describes Tay as, “his brother” and adds, “my relationship with Tay is close, it might not be the closest, but it’s close; that’s my dog I really wish the best for him.” Sam notes that “I think he’s gonna make it to the league.” In fact, Tay motivates Sam when they are running the 100 m dash in track as Sam says, “I see him move back 10, I move back 10, so I can run with him.  If I can run with him every practice, I am gonna get faster. I’m just happy that he got me faster because at one point that was what I lacked in my game.” 

There are many others who have had an impact on his life. He notes, “My mother and my father have had a strong impact on my life, and my whole family, even friends, and family; if you’re in my life you’re impacting it.” The support from friends and family through his college decision and commitment process was “good,” says Sam, who adds that “there were some times where you argue with your family, and they might’ve doubted you in the situation, but that didn’t do anything but push me, and I’m happy that they did that.” 

He has received a lot of support from friends and family and the one thing he wants to say to all the people that have provided him this support is “Thank you, for staying down for me. I’m happy that everybody stayed patient with me.” 

The lead-up to Sam receiving his offer from Monmouth University starts with Coach Ne telling him that he could “go D1 [Division 1].” Sam felt that he could, but he explains that Coach Ne told him that he called Monmouth to check out his senior season tape. There was a conversation between him and Monmouth’s coach, he stated that the coach said Sherwood was going to “beat up on us” but the Panthers prowled Sherwood by a score of 33-0. Sam and Coach kept talking, and that is when he received his first unofficial offer from Monmouth. A week later, Monmouth University gave him an official offer. He says that the visit to Monmouth was “good” he further explains that “[He liked] the atmosphere. I just needed something new in my life because I have been in Maryland all my life. I wanted to move out of Maryland. It was a good school, with 22 kids in a classroom. I’m not just a number, I’m a person.” 

If Sam could give his jersey to any person who helped him along this journey, he would give it to his little brother.  “Even though my little brother isn’t a teacher, I would give it to my little brother,” says Sam, who explains that he would give it to his brother because he is “the next up in the family to continue the legacy and I love him. When he came into the world he slowed me down a lot, which was good.”

Pressed on the topic of other people who have helped him along the way – including teachers – he says that he would also give it to “Mrs. Kimmel” because “she taught my Dad years before me in Virginia.” He would also like to give it to “Ms.Crump because she really helped me with this College process.”  Last but not least, he would give his jersey to the entire coaching staff at Paint Branch. He describes them as “One of the best coaching staffs I’ve been under.” He adds that he would also give it to his Mother and Father, two people who “worked their butts off to provide for me no matter the situation we were in, and they always had my back.”