NKY High School Football Spotlight: Scott
Scott football has dropped from Class 5A to Class 4A this season meaning that the Eagles will face other schools that have a smaller enrollment. In football terms, this usually means the teams they will face will be slightly less competitive than the larger schools, but that may not necessarily be the case for Scott.
The Eagles are coming off a positive season from a year ago where they won their first four games, but struggled down the stretch, finishing 6-4 on the year.
In that season last year, the Eagles featured a fearsome three-headed rushing attack that produced a lot of yardage and explosive plays. This year, two of those running backs return and one newcomer will round out the new version of their three-man rotation.
Roberto London and Deondre Pleasant return to form perhaps the best one-two rushing punch in all of Northern Kentucky. Sophomore Nelson Perrin is expected to join the backfield party at Scott this season.
“Those two are our workhorses, but Nelson is a talented young guy, but he still has a little bit of a ways to go,” said Scott head coach Dan Woolley. “We definitely want to establish the ground game and control the clock.”
Scott brings back three of its starting five offensive linemen from a year ago to create running lanes for the playmakers. For the other two spots, Coach Woolley intends to have a competition among some younger players to determine what the full complement of the line will be.
“I still think that we should have a solid core coming back,” he said about his offensive line.
Pleasant is an incredible athlete and proved to be one of the more exciting players in the region a year ago. In one game, he scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams.
“He and Roberto, I can’t discount either one of them. They’re very, very explosive players. Deondre does a little bit more in terms of returning punts and plays more defense and he’s one of those guys who can score anytime he gets the ball in his hands, which is obviously a good thing,” Woolley said.
In order to better prepare his team for the district run, Woolley took a page out of the Newport Central Catholic playbook in terms of scheduling and has loaded up the slate of early games against teams that have proven to be successful among their ranks.
“This year we have beefed up our non-conference schedule. We start off with New Cath and Dixie back-to-back which were two teams that played in the state championship last year. We’re scheduling ourselves so that we will get better when the districts come around and we can hopefully make a legitimate run at being one of the top teams in our district,” he said.
“I have the utmost respect for Coach Dan Wagner at New Cath, and they start out playing much better teams and they start out slow, but then in December they’re down in Bowling Green playing in the state championship game. There’s only one way to get better and that’s to play better teams. It’s what we’re trying to do and it’s something that I have been telling our kids.”
Even with the tougher schedule though, Woolley and his staff have stuck to their offseason program of weightlifting and conditioning with the philosophy that the work put in from December to August will pay off in the autumn games on Friday nights. For the first part of the year, Woolley just wants to see the team get better and not obsess over wins and losses.
”Whether you’re playing a small school or a big school, it’s always good to be strong,” he said. “We’re still lifting and conditioning and have been since December so nothing really changes there. We’re really trying to get our kids to understand that the first few games are there to get us better and whatever success you have no matter what our record is after the first five games, if we have improved every week as a team, that’s much more important than the wins and losses because it doesn’t matter what your non-conference record is going into the districts.”
Story by Bryan Burke, associate editor/Photo: RCN file