By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Since 2010, the face a Brighton Cardinal Baseball fan could count on seeing in the middle infield was Matt Scott.
As a freshman, Scott got plenty of playing time helping to rebuild the program after Head Coach Brian Oswalt graduated two large classes in 2008 and 2009. Over the past four seasons Scott has been the reliable glove at shortstop even spending some time at second base.
It was that competitive nature that impressed college coaches and Matt’s father Mike. Taking notice of his sons determination over the past 18 years, Mike wrote Matt a seven-page letter he handed to him prior to graduation May 16.
The note to Matt could have mentioned some of playing highlights like being an anchor in the batting order taking hacks at leadoff. His consistent, determined play earned him scholarship offers from several schools from around the area. And on May 17 Scott made it official that he would become a Dyersburg State Eagle when he signed his letter of intent in the Brighton High School Library.
“I believe Matt will do good for us here,” Dyersburg Head Coach Robert White said. “If he comes in with his good work ethic and gets physically stronger and matures some he will do great.”
There for the signing ceremony were Scott’s parents Mike and Stephanine. Brighton Head Coach Brian Oswalt and Assistant Coach Zane Adams were also on hand.
Oswalt said he has full confidence Scott will meet the demands of Coach White and become a stronger baseball players over the next two years.
“He works hard and comes to play,” Oswalt said. “We stuck him out there as a freshmen and threw him in the fire. And he became a leader since his sophomore season. He’s one of those 120 percent guys.
“Good bat, good leadoff or No. 2 guy with good speed,” he added. “In the field he has speed to the ball and reads the ball off the bat like I”ve never seen before. He will compete for Coach White.”
Stephanie said not being the biggest in the clubhouse has always been a motivating factor for her son.
“He’s ready for the challenge,” she said. “Matt is at his best under pressure. Not being the tallest and things like that has always made him give 120 percent.”
Stephanie acknowledged Matt got his work ethic from “Mama.” She noted since his days in T-Ball in Brighton youth leagues, Matt has always been driven.
“This is the pay off for his hard work,” she said. “This is the return for all the hard work he’s put in.”
Following the example of older brother Hayden and being a role model for younger brother Luke, Mike said Matt was a solid middle brother, noting that in the letter he wrote.
“I just wanted to let him know how proud I was of him for everything,” Mike said. “I handed it to him as he was walking out the door to graduation. I saw him sitting in his truck for a while. So I guess he read all of it.”
Matt did read the entire letter before heading to Brighton High School as a student for the last time. He said the thoughts from his father left him choked up.
“He said he hopes I keep my relationship with God close,” Matt recalled. “It was about him being a friend. How me and my brothers are so close. They’re my best friends. I held back the tears but it made me realize real life is coming after graduation and I need to get ready for the next step in my life.”
A part of the next step in Scott’s life will be playing baseball for the Eagles.
“It means I get to play two more years of baseball,” he said. “I’m blessed and I plan to take full advantage of this opportunity. And hopefully I’ll be at a four-year school playing.
“To reach that goal I have to keep the same mindset, remember the lessons Dad taught me about working hard,” Matt concluded. “Remember what the good coaches taught me to give me confidence and use the work ethic of Mama as an example.”