TAYLOR MILL – A strong senior class led the Scott High School football team to its second winning season in its 30-plus history.
Those players are gone and others will need to step up if the Eagles are to take the unprecedented step of having two winning seasons in a row.
“We have a very good core of young players balanced by some seniors who have been waiting for their time to shine,” said head coach Dan Woolley, who enters his third season.
Scott returns only two starters on each side of the ball. Its goal is to continue to field a strong rushing attack which delivered more than 300 yards per game last season. Scott was 7-4 last season, its second winning mark in school history, as the Eagles gained confidence and dominated several of their opponents in 2013.
“That’s something we’ve been working on since I got here,” said Woolley, who was an assistant for a few years before taking the head job. “Kids are going out there and they’re expecting to compete and win every game. That’s important. If we can do that, we’re putting ourselves in a position where we can win. We want to give ourselves a chance.”
Conversely, Woolley hopes his team can learn from the four-game losing streak that ended the year after a blistering 7-0 start.
“One of the things we have to work on is our conditioning,” Woolley said. “We have a lot of guys who are playing both sides of the ball. We have to make sure our conditioning is where it needs to be. We have to work on it throughout the year, so that when the fourth quarter comes around we get stronger.”
Junior Roberto London, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound back, had 558 yards rushing on just 58 carries last year, nearly 10 per attempt, with six touchdowns.
“His work ethic in the offseason and in the weight room, paired with his natural talent, has him poised to be one of the best running backs in the area,” Woolley said.
Eli Sowder returns at fullback and safety. Brendon Sebree, a 6-2, 250-pound athlete, returns on both lines. Sebree, a two-year-captain, is a three-year starter and a key leader.
Other top returners on defense include linebacker Eli Miller and safety Deondre Pleasant. Miller was the leading tackler last year with 63. Pleasant had 55 tackles and an interception, and returned two punts for touchdowns. Pleasant is the leader of the defense and has the potential to make plays all over the field.
Top newcomers start with quarterback/safety Danny Fitzgerald, running back/cornerback DaShon Lunsford, fullback/linebacker Trey Hicks, tight end/linebacker Ryan Seeney, and linemen Ron Rice and Tim Sherrard. Rice weighs in at 6-1, 300 pounds.
“We’re still very young across the lines, but we have players with a lot of potential and upside who have been successful at the junior varsity level, and it’s now their time to be successful on the varsity,” Woolley said. “We got a lot of guys who are making that jump, and Friday nights are different than Saturday mornings.”
The Eagles have one different opponent from last season, East Jessamine, who the Eagles play Aug. 22 to start the season, 6:30 p.m. at West Jessamine. Scott’s first home game is Sept. 12 against Newport.
“Our main priority is fixing things we need to fix from our scrimmage,” Woolley said. “The main thing we need to focus on is us. If we can fix our mistakes, we can be competitive.”
Follow James Weber on Twitter, @JWeberSports
Aug. 22: vs. East Jessamine, 6:30 p.m. at West Jessamine
Aug. 29: At Holmes
Sept. 5: At Aiken, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 12: Vs. Newport
Sept. 19: Vs. Holy Cross
Sept. 26: At Cooper, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 10: Vs. Grant County
Oct. 17: At South Oldham, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 24: Vs. Conner
Oct. 31: Vs. Mason County
All games 7 p.m. unless noted