Los Angeles High School has a rich tradition of winning football, but it has been decades since they have added anything of note to it. Last year they were 1-6 and they had to forfeit two games. Their last winning season was in 2007, which was their lone season above .500 in the past 10 years.
This past offseason L.A. High hired Eric Scott to take over the program. Scott was a standout player at Crenshaw High School, and he played wide receiver at UCLA. He also was an assistant coach at UCLA after his playing career was over. When he stepped on campus in March he made it a priority to win games.
L.A. High is not known as an ‘athletic school,’ but Scott did not have to look very far to find some players.
“A lot of the guys were here,” Scott said. “There were a handful of guys that kind of fell into my lap and transferred in, but not many. One thing that I did notice when I watched tape on them was that they had players.”
The first task that Scott had was fixing the academic eligibility problem at the school. He worked with the school’s counselors to ensure that the players were taking the proper classes, and he matched the athletes up with tutors so that they could pass the classes.
Scott’s second task was instilling discipline into his players.
“I’m really big on discipline,” Scott said. “Guys being on time, guys being dressed and ready to go. Just a lot more organization.”
Scott promised the team that if they followed his lead, that they were going to turn the program around and win. For some of the players, it was a feeling that they had not experienced in a long time.
“A lot of the L.A. High guys—it’s just getting them back into what they used to do,” Scott said. “A lot of them used to be really good little league football players. A couple of them told me that it’s been a minute since they’ve loved the game. I’m making them learn the game so that they can love it again.”
The program is used to being on the losing end of blowout games, but this year the roles have been reversed. They defeated Washington Prep 34-12, Jordan 59-0, and Manual Arts 44-0.
Scott is building the foundation for a winning program.
“L.A. High has tradition, but it hasn’t been a big time winner,” Scott said. “We’ve watched schools go from night to day. Crenshaw has changed. Dorsey can change. Fairfax has changed. So why not L.A. High?”
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