2011-08-31 / Front Page

THE ROCK

Burke Academy sports complex to be named for lifetime supporter, Dr. Hugh Scott
By Elizabeth Billips lizbillips@yahoo.com

It’s been the love of most of his life.

And everybody knows it.

When you get Dr. Hugh Scott, you get Edmund Burke Academy – the place where the retired veterinarian has measured out decades sitting on school bleachers, pacing the sidelines and making tough calls at board meetings.

It hasn’t gone unnoticed.

At the private school’s home football opener Sept. 9, the entire sports compound will be named the Dr. Hugh M. Scott Athletic Complex.

“Dr. Scott is the rock for Edmund Burke Academy,” headmaster Brent Cribb explained. “And so, so much has been built on that rock,”

For Dr. Scott, the gesture has been nearly overwhelming, especially as he remembers the private school’s block by block construction back in 1971.

“A lot of people said there would never be a school here … and if we ever did get it started that in ten years we’d be storing hay in it,” he says, looking out over the football field where he’s passed thousands of afternoons calling plays in his old straw hat. “But we did it. With no taxes, no government – just people with a vision. This is an amazing thing.”

It was during that building year that Dr. Scott was first elected to the academy’s board of directors where he would serve more than three decades, many as chairman. He would also coach basketball teams and help out with track and field.

But the by-the-books booster is most fondly remembered pacing the football sidelines with folded arms and one leg of his khakis caught up in his cowboy boots.

That image hasn’t changed much since 1983 when Henry Tinley, now a Burke County commissioner, drafted Dr. Scott to help put together a middle school football team. Over the next 27 years, hundreds of boys would grow up learning the Scott-style fundamentals.

“The thing I enjoyed most was seeing the boys come in as little sixth graders and develop into seventh and eight graders, then varsity players,” Dr. Scott said. “Now they’re doctors and lawyers and judges. I love football, and I have loved those boys.”

The feeling is mutual.

At any given school event, Cribb watches those nowgrown boys seek out the man who never hesitated to bench his best players to prove a point about sportsmanship or effort.

“He is forever part of their lives,” Cribb said.

But it really goes beyond Edmund Burke Academy. For nearly 20 years before taking the middle school reins, Dr. Scott coached recreation league football for the community at large.

Burke County native Carlton Lewis, now a Pickens County elementary school principal, can still picture the late afternoon practices at the old fairgrounds.

“I can remember wearing my slick Sunday school black shoes to practice one day because I couldn’t find my cleats and it was time to go,” Lewis laughed, recalling that even at the age of seven he couldn’t bear to miss a chance to play ball for Dr. Scott.

Eleven years later, Lewis would captain EBA’s 1979 football team which went 10-1 and is still considered one of the most powerful teams in school history.

But Lewis, like so many of Dr. Scott’s former players, believes his coach’s early-life lessons went far beyond learning how to line up in the backfield or take a snap.

“Coach Scott taught me at an early age about the importance of being a team player and helping the best that you can in any role you serve,” he said. “Every position is important on the team … and that is so true in life and work.”

BE THERE

The dedication ceremony will be held during halftime of the Thomas Jefferson game on Friday, Sept. 9. Kick-off is 7:30 p.m. The public is invited, and former players are especially encouraged to attend.

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