PLAYER OF THE WEEK - The ones to watch: Chris Scott
August 11, 2008
Chris Scott and football go way back. The Central High senior has a sports-minded family and a long career behind him already.
He began playing football in the Pee-Wee League in Pine Bluff at age 5. His credits his aunt, Crystal Scott, with keeping him in the sport.
"Even when I wanted to quit, she would push me to keep on," Scott said. "The harder something gets, the more you want to give up. But she wouldn't let me."
And that tenacity has paid off.
Scott is beginning his first year at Central after spending the previous two years at Pine Bluff, where he recorded 68 tackles last season, which included 16 in one game. He moved to the Little Rock area when his aunt took at job at Central High to coach volleyball.
He started his football career as an offensive guard admittedly, he said, because he was a little on the big side.
But a growth spurt in the 8th grade added 3 inches to his height, and he trimmed up. From then on, he's played at tight end/linebacker.
He's approaching this season with much anticipation. Scott said sweating through the tough practices this summer gets the team geared up for the biggest game of the season - the first one.
And it's a doozy of one for the Central Tigers, an away game against 7A conference champion Fayetteville.
Scott knows this will set the tone for the rest of the season.
"Winning is so easy when you know how to win," he said. "All of the momentum comes from that first game."
Scott, who counts among his influences Philadelphia Eagles DE Javon Kerase, is single-minded when it comes to playing.
"I'm thinking about nothing other than what's happening on the field,' he said. "Nothing is distracting me. I'm just focused on keeping my team motivated and focused."
Scott also is pumped about being at Central and playing for Bernie Cox, who is entering his 34th season with a record of 265-99-8, making him the winningest coach in the state.
"He's been here so long," Scott said of Cox. "The man knows the game."
Scott heaps praises on his new coaches for their enthusiasm at practice.
"They're good at getting us fired up," he said. "We go from station to station, there's no dragging. We're just flying around in practice."
And when football isn't dominating his time, Scott doesn't stray too far from sports. He plays basketball and used to play soccer. But this year, hitting the books ranks up there with his other activities..
As proud as he is to be a Tiger now, Scott was once a Zebra. And with that comes a little personal conflict.
"That's a rivalry like none other," he said, rattling off the number the state championships won by both schools.
Fortunately for Scott (or maybe not, depending on his competitiveness), Central and Pine Bluff won't face off this year in regular season play.
Thinking ahead, Scott has his eyes on college. He'd like to be at the University of Arkansas. But Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tulsa, Missouri State and Louisiana Tech also are on his radar, he said.