“Get out of the mud” and onto the mountains; Scott reflects in front of WCU

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High school graduates seek out a social life, college applications, an activity here and there, and keeping track of the class; You don’t have time to take college courses for an associate degree.

Or do they do it?

One St. Petersburg High School graduate in particular made up for a few jobs, high school classes, soccer, and college classes at Richard Bland College that would lead to his associate degree. His name is Meziah Scott.

Scott, along with his colleagues, tested math and English classes, so early in his junior year he went to school on Richard Bland’s campus and graduated as an associate while completing his high school diploma. He did this through the Middle College program at Richard Bland College.

“The curriculum was challenging, but it helped me improve my grade point average,” he says.

If school didn’t happen in his senior year, the quarterback contender worked to be recruited. He got some looks from recruiters in his freshman year, but for a quarterback he was slightly shorter than average at 5 feet and 11 inches tall. So Scott had to work to be noticed.

“I feel like hard work always pays off even when you feel like it doesn’t,” he said.

In his sophomore year he got glances from bigger schools like Duke and Virginia Tech. The hope that he would play for a Power 5 school would come true until COVID-19 happened. But that didn’t stop him.

“I just got a new coach and he’d been trying to get me to train with him since ninth grade and I didn’t join him until my senior year,” recalls Scott.

After a session with his new prospect, Scott’s coach felt confident he could play college football and made a few calls. In fact, Western Carolina University called and it was a wake-up call for Scott. Literally.

“I just woke up so it sounded crazy to me, I couldn’t really hear it,” chuckled Scott.

He decided to play soccer at WCU and at first didn’t know which degree to graduate. Scott’s grandfather was an accountant and suggested that his grandson do something in business administration. But Scott also dreams of going to the NFL and wants to be tax accountable with his money when the time comes. So Scott chose sports management.

Scott has the edge to graduate thanks to Richard Bland’s Middle College program. As a freshman he is in the junior area due to his final exam. This means that he will get his bachelor’s degree as a junior.

“I would transfer the hard work I had in the field to the classroom,” he says.

Working hard on the soccer field is nothing new to Scott. He was allowed to practice the sport at the age of seven with his father as his coach. Instead of throwing the ball, they worked in the yard on basic aspects of the game like body position and handoffs. Scott fell in love with the sport at a young age and saw success at an early age.

A family walk.

“The first game I had when I was allowed to play was when I was seven, I had three long touchdowns,” he recalls. “I actually have a DVD …”

Scott would continue to work with his father and would eventually be trained by him in a PHS soccer uniform. It was difficult to separate the father from the coach at first, but Mr Scott treated his son no differently from the other players. Despite being the coach’s son, young Scott still had to work and Scott is about to do more than he goes to school to help WCU soccer.

“As soon as I walked onto campus, I want to start getting my school things in order … and get into the playbook right away,” he says.

Scott had to deal with what he did as a senior and is now ready to tackle his college days as a young freshman. He had to work for whatever opportunity he had, just like any other. But he says it’s just a Petersburg thing as he and others are working to change the city’s image.

“Not everyone has this mentality, we call it ‘getting out of the mud,’” he says.

Scott comes out of the mud and into the mountains as he prepares for his freshman college. Even when he’s not at home, he wants to lead by example for his teammates and younger brothers. What will help him along the way will be his work ethic.

“If I want to work hard in football, I have to make sure I work hard in the classroom and that goes for life,” he says.

Zoe Collins Rath (sie / her / hers) is a sports and education reporter for the Progress Index. For times, email her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @ zoe_jordan99.



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