MADISON — “Forever happens now” is the three word slogan for the 2015 varsity boys’ football team at Scott High School.
“For these young me, maybe 20 years down the road at a reunion or with old friends, they will look back at their time playing football for Scott High School and remember these times. What they do today, defines them forever.”
Scott Skyhawks Head Coach Shane Griffith has built a tradition of winning, which may put pressure on many coaches, but it is welcomed by Griffith.
“I enjoy the grip of expectation on this football program,” Griffith said. “We approach things very differently here. Motivation is easy when you are at the bottom because the only way to go is up. However, expectations come with Black and Gold football. This team, this school and this community expect to win. Our job is to stay focused and honor the traditions of this program, which are to be committed, prepare hard and play the entire game.”
Scott is coming off a playoff year and has made the playoffs nearly each season that Griffith has been the head coach.
“It is easy to become a victim of a good program’s success,” he said. “We raised this from the ground up with the community playing a large part and we have grown this into an anticipation each year for football and for winning football at Scott.”
The years team is slighter more in numbers, even after graduating 21 seniors last from last year.
“Under that scenario, most coaches would just be looking to field a team, but we are always ready to compete and make the playoffs,” said Griffith.
Only three seniors are returning from last year’s squad, but they will play a vital role in the team’s success, according to Griffith.
Cody Loftus, a fullback on offense and a linebacker on defense, as well as Jacob Bratcher, center and defensive end, and Adam Matthews, an offensive and defensive lineman will lead the young Skyhawks.
“They will carry a heavy burden, but they have been there and will lead with experience,” the coach said.
The team has about 14 juniors that the coach describes as “very athletic.”
“We really worked a lot in the weight room this year to generate power and speed,” Griffith explained. “We think we have done it. We are not physically big, but very athletic, fast and powerful.”
Griffith says Garrett Roberts returns for his junior season after rushing for well over 1,000 yards as a sophomore. Roberts is the younger brother of Jordan Roberts, who is considered to most Scott’s greatest football player of all time.
“We think Garrett is going to have a good year, but this team doesn’t really have any superstars or standouts,” Griffith said. “It has guys with no egos, team players with a go to work type of attitude. These are a bunch of hard working guys that are becoming one, and not just individuals.”
The Skyhawks are in Class AA’s tough Cardinal Conference. This year’s schedule includes six projected playoff teams.
“There are no easy games in the Cardinal Conference,” Griffith said. “We have the Cardinal Conference, along with two Class AAA teams in Logan and Lincoln County, along with another playoff team and there are no easy games on our schedule any where.”
Griffith said he doesn’t expect to go undefeated and always places the goal on making the playoffs.
“It’s not about going 10-0 in the regular season,” Griffith said. “It’s about handling the roller coaster ride of the season and staying committed to the purpose of making the playoffs. Once in the playoffs, everyone starts with a fresh record and it becomes about going to Wheeling.”
Fred Pace is an editor for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-369-1165, ext. 1661, in Madison; at 304-752-6950, ext. 1729 in Logan; by email at email@example.com or @fcpace62 on Twitter.