INSTITUTE - Tyler King and Luke Scott grew up playing football together in Roane County, and tonight in their final prep "last hurrah" will be together again as North teammates in the 7 p.m. West Virginia North-South Football Classic at Laidley Field in Charleston.
After tonight, the pair of Roane County High School athletes will go their separate ways to play football in college, although both will stay in state for that.
Scott said it was "nice to have Tyler down here with me on the North team for the game - especially since I've been with Tyler ever since midget league. So it's been nice to be able to spend this one last go-around with him."
Scott, at 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, was tabbed as a running back for the game by the North coaches, "and maybe some outside linebacker on defense," he said. Both positions are the ones he played in high school, although he was at middle 'backer last season when he earned Class AA first-team all-state honors.
At Roane, King, a wide receiver and defensive back, was second-team Class AA all-state as a junior, when he finished fifth in the state in receiving yards. Not only did King play wide-out at Roane, but "I've been playing wide receiver since I was in pee wee football," he said.
"Down here, they have me at wide-out, and that's where I'll be playing in college, too."
On North defense for the 6-2, 190-pound King, "they have me kind of going at safety," he said. "But we've got a few safeties back there, so I'll probably just play mostly wide receiver, which I'm fine with."
Scott and King were not only members of the most-winningest class to come through Roane County High School, but were also the only ones that played football all four years for the Raiders, who made the state playoffs too every one of those four years.
Scott said his time at Roane was "great. Our (head) coach (Paul Burdette) was really helpful after taking over my sophomore year.
"We were just all close, tight-knit, and our chemistry, I don't know if there was any other team in the state like it. We had a good time, but got done what we needed to get done."
Since Scott lived in West Virginia all his life, "I've always wanted to play in the North-South game, so I'm glad I get to now," he said. "It's such an honor."
As a West Virginia native, playing in the North-South game has "always been a dream of mine," said King. "It's a huge honor to know that they picked me as one of the best 75 players in the state."
Of the North squad, "we've got a heck of a team," said King. "We have three first-team all-state linebackers, a first-team all-state quarterback, a player from triple-A state champion Martinsburg and three from double-A state champion Bridgeport. And a bunch of fast guys and bunch of big guys too, so I think we'll do just fine."
To which Scott added, "We have some really good athletes, so I think we can get the job done."
After tonight's game, Scott is bound for the University of Charleston. His reasons for choosing the Golden Bears? "The coaches were really nice, they had nice facilities and it's close to home, too," he said. "I live in southern Roane County, so it's like a 30-minute drive for me if I want to get home and eat dinner, or if miss my mom maybe," he said with a grin and a laugh.
Scott sees his college playing time more than likely coming at running back, "because I'd be a little small for a linebacker in college.
"I may not play much my first year, but I can always try to work my way into the lineup or special teams by working hard and proving myself."
Meanwhile, King is headed to Alderson-Broaddus, where "they basically told me they wanted me at wide receiver."
He liked A-B because "they're really getting their program together, and the coaches seem like they know what they're doing. They only lost two games last year and they've got a pretty tough schedule, so they're doing something right up there."
On the week of North-South camp at West Virginia State University, "we've been having a good time down here, but we want to win too," said King.
"We're all all-stars here; they chose us for a reason. So we all know what to do on the field and with the ball, but winning would be a big thing."