DRESDEN, Ohio — The Scotties have won, or at least shared, the Muskingum Valley League title for six straight seasons.
But despite sharing the league title (Philo, Sheridan), and going 9-1 in 2016, the Scotties found themselves on the outside looking in to the playoffs for the first time in eight years. With 20 seniors returning though, head coach Justin Buttermore says that expectations are high heading into the 2017 season.
“You know one of the things that’s great about playing young kids one year is you have a lot of returners the next year. So we have 20 seniors, a lot of kids that have played a lot of football– about 17 or 18 starters back– so things have been really smooth. Our first week of camp, or two-a-days, was great. It was one of the better weeks that we’ve had,” Buttermore proclaimed.
With having a lot of seniors, comes the responsibility of teaching the younger kids that will come after them the culture and how to play the game the right way. And Buttermore says with his senior class, it is like having extra coaches on the field.
“I think what they have been particularly good at is mentoring our young kids. You know we’ve had a lot of those kids that are helping out the young kids in their position group and bringing them along if they’re making mistakes, and they’re helping coach. It’s like having 20 additional coaches on the field.”
The Scotties excelled on both sides of the ball in 2016, averaging 35.1 points per game on offense, and allowing only 8.8 on defense. And with the majority of their starters returning, senior wide receiver/cornerback Dow Cameron says that experience will be strength of theirs throughout the season.
“Our strength is definitely our experience. We only lost like three or four guys on both sides of the ball from last year, and we’ve all been playing together for a long time, so we know what each other brings,” said Cameron.
And for opposing offenses trying to score on the Scotties this year, they may find it even harder than it was a year ago. Senior defensive end Spencer Littick says they have more play-makers, and are even faster than last season.
“Our defense is going to be a big strength this year. We’re a lot faster than last year, and I think we can make a lot of plays happen this year,” expressed Littick.
And while no goals had been set yet by the time we spoke with coach Buttermore, he says those goals would be decided by the seniors at their annual picnic; and he expects them to be very high.
“You know our kids certainly, we’ve been in the playoffs seven of the last eight years, it was a disappointment not to get there. They’ve certainly been around for a long time. They were a good team last year, didn’t quite get it done. So I think that our goals are going to be really, really high,” said Buttermore.
The Scotties only play three true road games in 2017, and open with five of their first six games at home. Their season kicks off at home on a Thursday night, August 24th, against Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.
08/24 St. Vincent-St. Mary
09/08 @ Zanesville
09/29 New Lexington
10/06 @ Sheridan
10/13 John Glenn
10/20 West Muskingum
10/27 @ Maysville