As a longtime coach and school administrator, Scott Reeves offered a broader perspective on the importance of high school sports to participants.
"When I see what these kids are going through right now with schools being closed and sports being shut down, it makes me think back to how my whole future was shaped by a few weeks of that one spring season in high school," said Reeves, who serves as Executive Director of Secondary Academic Affairs for Westerville City Schools.
Reeves was a football, basketball and track and field standout at Eastmoor, but as of late May in 1987 held just one scholarship offer.
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"I had mostly Division III looks to that point," said Reeves, who was 6 feet, 170 pounds. "I was an OK quarterback and an OK basketball player on a sub-.500 team. Track was my least favorite sport of the three. Except for a relay team, I didn’t even make the state as a junior."
But during his senior season, Reeves went from being a 20-foot long jumper to soaring 24 feet, 3/4 inches (sixth best in Ohio history at the time) in winning a state title. He also won a state title as a member of the 400-meter relay and took second in the 300 hurdles.
Reeves accepted a track scholarship to Ohio State nine days later.
"Before the state meet, I probably was going to go to Baldwin Wallace or someplace like that to play football ... and there’s nothing wrong with that,’’ he said. "But to go to Ohio State, wow, was my dream."
A few months later, OSU assistant basketball coach Randy Ayers was helping forward Perry Carter move into his dorm room and struck up a conversation with Reeves.
"Because of some odd circumstances with transfers, Randy said there were only eight scholarship players and nine guys on the roster and he asked me if I might be interested in walking on so they could have 10 guys for practice," Reeves said. "I asked the track coaches if it was OK and they said it was."
He competed in track solely as a sophomore, but things didn’t pan out as he hoped.
When Ayers became head coach in the 1990-91 season, he asked Reeves if he wanted to return. Given an ultimatum by the track coach to choose one sport, he opted for basketball. He spent this final year and a half at OSU on a basketball scholarship.
Serving mostly as a bench player, Reeves appeared in only 17 career games, but was part of a 1990-91 team that went 27-4 and won a Big Ten championship.
The following year, Reeves stayed on a student assistant. After graduating, Reeves coached at Independence before transitioning into administrative roles in Pickerington, Reynoldsburg and Westerville.
"It was just serendipitous timing that led me to Ohio State and it never would have happened without my senior spring sports season," he said. "Who knows what direction my life would have gone? I would have had a completely different set of friends, possibly a different career. It’s staggering to think about today."