Friday, November 19, 2010

Sampson Scott III - 2010 Update


Everyone knew that Sam was the strongest football player on the team. Even when we were underclassmen, the older ones didn’t press Sam much, at least none that I ever saw or heard of. He wasn’t a particularly aggressive kid, but he was just strong without really looking the part. There were other kids who had some size and had built up their muscles by that age, but even then Sam was just stronger. The coaches really loved this kid and lettered him all 3-years we were at EHHS—the only lad to do so in our class.

He was quiet spoken in the way that people who feel little need to impress others tend to be quiet. I never recall seeing him angry and whatever frustration he might have shown was always muted. Everyone liked him, but even more importantly, everyone respected him. If you needed 3-4 yards, give the ball to Sam.

Sam, a team co-captain, was also an outstanding All-District inside linebacker and started on both the offense and the defense. You never had to worry about anyone running over or by him. He had pretty good mobility, wasn’t too tall, maybe 5’10” and weighed about 185. I don’t recall him being much of a pass receiver, but as the fullback, that wasn’t his job. He had a kind of springy step, as he walked on the balls of his feet with a little up and down motion to his stride.

He seemed a little awkward with the girls even though they seemed to pay him attention at the parties. He was also smart in an unusual way. Although he wasn’t a leading class scholar, he was always in the hunt for top grades in most classes and graduated Cum Laude, or in about in the top quarter.

Sam taught himself to play piano by ear sometime during the Jr. High years, which in itself was a pretty good indicator of his intelligence. I recall seeing him working the piano keyboard out at some parties but don’t recall him ever playing a complete piece those times. Toward the end of high school and for some years afterward he played in a local band.

I lost track of Sam after graduation until our paths crossed once again, but briefly about 1982 when the picture above was taken. It appeared that life hadn’t treated him too well, but we didn’t talk about those things…to tell the truth, I don’t recall what we talked about, but do recall that we shared a pleasant hour or two.

Anyway, it seemed to me that Sam had a fine early potential that may have gotten side tracked after he grew up. My friend, Sam Scott passed away in 1990, at age 45.

Sam's sister (yes, he had one--she came along after we knew Sam) contributed some family history information recently. I had recalled that Sam's father, Sam II, was an airline pilot for the old Central Airlines and that he had retired as a Captain for Frontier Airlines; I also recalled seeing Sam Sr. sitting up on the hill watching a lot of our afternoon football practices. Tom Koebernick's dad was also there fairly often.

I recalled Sam Sr. as an enthusiastic, muscular man who was a real supporter of our Sam III. He had declined an appointment to the USNA to play football for Cornell. During WWII he flew Navy transports over the Pacific, then worked for a South American Cargo carrier owned by some USA oil companies, then to Central Airlines which was later merged with Frontier Airlines..

Perhaps even more interesting was the family Navy and Army lineage. Sam III's great grandfather was a Coastal Artillery officer at the turn of the century, and 2nd great grandfather was Admiral W.T. Sampson, a Naval officer who is well recorded in history...he was the Commander of the Navy force supporting Teddy Roosevelt in Cuba during the Spanish American War. A graduate at the top of his USNA class, Admiral Sampson served aboard a number of ships from a Civil War Monitor through a succession of larger ships until his last where he served as Captain of the Battleship Iowa (BB-4) in 1897. Afterward he commanded the North Atlantic Squadron during the Spanish American War.  Our Sampson Scott bore his name.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whenever I search for something my Grandfather Sampson Scott I authored for the Navy (on Google books) (can't ever remember what it is!), this link always pops up. Thank you, Gus, from the bottom of my heart, for this blog. You are quite a "Highlander".

Scott, G.