A long journey: Former Natchez QB headed to SWAC championship

Published 12:54 pm Tuesday, November 30, 2021

PRAIRIE VIEW — Natchez High School alumnus Chris Scott will take the field in Jackson as a quarterback for Prairie View A&M this weekend in the SWAC championship. The redshirt junior is in a backup role but he is prepared to play if his number is called. 

Scott missed out on an opportunity to compete for a starting job when he tested positive for COVID-19 at the start of fall camp. Since then, he has been preparing each and every week to take the field if he is ever needed. 

“Everyone always wants to play. You go out there and work hard hoping to play,” Scott said. “You have to have a mindset that you are ready. I have been preparing for it all year. I know one day I will have to go out and make a play.” 

Scot said it has been a journey to get to his first SWAC championship game. The Natchez High graduate signed with East Mississippi Community College in 2017 and early-enrolled at the college in Scooba. 

Alabama State contacted him and offered him an opportunity to go there so at the conclusion of his summer semester at EMCC, he made the move. His whole life he had aspirations to play at the Division One level and Alabama State gave him a chance. 

It was also a perfect learning opportunity for Scott. Over the next few years he developed as a quarterback by gaining mental knowledge. He learned about being poised, he said. 

“I learned to not let things bother you or get you out of your game,” Scott said. “Things won’t always go your way. I always wanted to be perfect. Not everything will go your way and you have to drop it and move forward, keep yourself upbeat when things aren’t going right.” 

The mental knowledge would help him at Alabama State for several reasons. First, he suffered a shoulder injury in 2019 during fall camp. Trying to play through it, he did not take care of himself like he should have and ended up tearing a piece of his rotator cuff. He missed the whole season after winning the starting job. For six months, he was sidelined. COVID took away his 2020 season. 

Oct. 11, 2020 will always be one of the worst days of his life. His sister-in-law called with news over the phone. Brittani Michelle Scott, his 28-year old sister, had been fighting COVID for two weeks when her health took a turn for the worst and she died. At the time, she lived in Las Vegas by herself. Scott had to leave school early and come home to be with family, he said. 

“I didn’t know if I wanted to keep playing football,” Scott said. “Most of my family has encouraged me to keep going. There were days where I asked if I should stay. There were hard days. They encouraged me.” 

By spring of 2021, he had a bachelors degree in interdisciplinary studies from Alabama State. Scott began looking for a graduate program and found his match at Prairie View A&M. He plans to earn a master’s degree in juvenile justice to work with kids in the justice system, he said. 

Prairie View A&M is not too far from Houston, he said.

The Panthers were open and honest with him, which he appreciates. They have been supportive especially when he tested positive for COVID. Their athletic facilities are some of the best he has ever been in during his career. 

He scored his first touchdown in a game against Prairie View A&M. It is a little ironic because all of the coaches and players from that game are still with Prairie View, he said. 

“When I came on my visit in July, I knew it was where I wanted to be,” Scott said. “I think everything happens for a reason. There is a purpose, a reason and a why. My mom tells me to stay safe and to remember if I’m out there then I belong out there.”

The reason he is out on the football field is to make his family happy, he said.

“I’m playing to see a smile on my family’s face,” Scott said. “This game is the only thing which can bring a little fun to us outside of us being together.”