There’s a good reason why Phin Scott is wildly popular among his Ozark teammates and the Tigers’ fans.
Scott has established himself as one of Ozark’s top passers the past two seasons on his way to 11 assists this year and 21 for his career.
While dishing out all those assists, he’s often done so in spectacular fashion.
“I like creating chances for my teammates and keeping it flashy for the people who are watching,” Scott said.
Scott’s assists have played a big part in midfielder/forward Caleb Lepant setting a single-season school record with 35 goals and counting.
Lepant has appreciated Scott’s passing and been amazed at the same time.
“He has creativity,” Lepant said. “He has a way to find the ball where you need it to be. He sees things other people don't see. It's amazing to see his passes and to receive them is even better. He puts it right on your feet where you don't even have to do a whole lot.”
Ozark coach Zack Owens also feels Scott’s vision is one of his best qualities.
“That's been his M.O.,” Owens said. “He hones it in every year. His vision is one of the best I've seen.”
One of Scott's favorite plays involved him looking upfield and lobbing the ball 10-15 yards to Lepant, while using finesse to apply a soft touch on his kick.
“I try to give him the best chance to score,” Scott said.
Ozark’s offense is at its best with Scott in possession of the ball. His exceptional control of the ball is such that he usually repeatedly possesses it longer than anyone else.
“He's shifty and the ball is part of his laces sometimes when he's dribbling through people,” Owens said. “He has that tactical ability.”
Scott also provides plenty of highlights by finishing himself. He has 23 goals this season and 34 for his career.
Scott recently passed Owens on Ozark’s leaderboard for career points. Lepant did so earlier this season.
Scott’s accuracy on his shots on goal has been uncanny. Many of his goals are at a corner of the goal.
In last week’s regular-season finale against Sedalia Smith-Cotton, he found himself with the ball alongside the end line. Not deterred by his seemingly impossible parallel angle to the goal, he was able to put enough spin on the ball, to place it over the ‘keeper and in the opposite side of the goal.
“I noticed the 'keeper was far out, so I figured I could chip it and curl it around on him," Scott said.
“I didn't know it was going in until it hit the back of the net,” Lepant said. “I was pretty amazed. That was a great shot.”
Scott posted a pair of goals in Ozark’s 8-0 Class 4 District 5 first-round triumph versus Lebanon on Monday.
The Tigers also received goals from Lepant, Zach Ulrich , Brady Schupp, Micah Thrasher, Jake Garner and Alex Williams.
For Schupp, it was his first varsity goal.
Ozark (22-2-2) moves on to face defending District champ Kickapoo (15-10) in a semifinal at 5 p.m.
Nixa (15-8) and Glendale (16-7) meet in the other semifinal at 7 p.m.