Things are going well for Scotts Hill High football right now.
The Lions are coming off their first-ever playoff appearance. The team itself is growing as more and more students at the school want to join the team. The surrounding communities are enthusiastic about the program as evidenced by the large crowds the team had at both long-distance playoff road trips to Loretto and Mt. Pleasant, and the program has gotten or is getting more things it needs like a locker room, weight equipment, bleachers at the stadium and other items once thought a dream for the small school that were basic necessities for other programs.
“We’re getting all of this stuff, but all of this stuff has to be paid for,” Lions head coach Michael Stroup said. “Yeah we’ve paid for everything we’ve gotten, but we want to keep adding to what we have so we can be more competitive. I think we’re getting to the point where we can do that more consistently.”
Stroup is trying something different this spring as a fundraiser for the program he hopes is more effective than the normal methods of raising money for the program.
“Just about every football program is doing what they need to do to raise money for the basic stuff they all need like equipment and everything else – discount cards, strawberries, onions, candy bars, whatever,” Stroup said. “We’re hoping we can do something else that could be just as effective if not more effective.”
On April 18, the Scotts Hill football booster club is hosting A Night with the Legends at Freed-Hardeman University. Stroup made the announcement last week on social media, and he said the reaction has been positive and frequent. The legends attendees can spend time with are former University of Tennessee football coach Johnny Majors, former Alabama coach Gene Stallings and former LSU coach Jerry Stovall, with the event emceed by Tennessee Titans radio broadcaster Mike Keith.
“Most of the questions I get are, ‘How did Scotts Hill of all places get these guys to come here?’ and ‘Why are you having this at Freed-Hardeman?'” Stroup said. “We got these guys because we asked and they were able to be here on April 18, and it’s at Freed because we wanted to have this in a more central location that wouldn’t be as far for a lot of people to go.”
Majors coached Iowa State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and then Pittsburgh again from 1969 through 1996. He won three SEC championships while coaching the Vols in the 1980s.
Stallings was the head coach at Texas A&M and the St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals before coaching at Alabama from 1990-96 and leading the Crimson Tide to the 1992 national championship.
Stovall coached LSU from 1980-83 and led the Tigers to the 1982 Orange Bowl, but he was second in Heisman Award voting in 1962 for LSU before playing in the NFL for the St. Louis Cardinals for nine seasons and was a three-time Pro Bowler.
While the festivities April 18 are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., Stroup said he plans to get there early for as much coaching advice as possible from the coaching legends.
“I’ll be there at 4 or 5,” Stroup said. “VIPs might come walking in there and see me with the three of them over in the corner with a markerboard.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
Individual tickets are $100 and can be purchased online by logging on to scottshillfootball.com. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, call 731-499-2342 or 901-356-1988.
Brandon Shields, 425-9751
Want to go?
What: Scotts Hill Football Boosters present A Night with the Legends
When: April 18 at 6 p.m.
Admission: $100 individual tickets