FAIRFIELD, Ohio -- When Isaiah Scott started playing football in the eighth grade, another team soon formed within his family.
Simply known as “Team Scott,” it includes Isaiah, the eldest of four brothers who’ve played football at Fairfield, and their parents, Oliver and Danielle.
Isaiah, a 2009 Fairfield graduate, and Josh, a 2010 graduate, played defensive back. Elijah, a 2015 graduate who plays at Mount Union, is a linebacker.
The brothers played baseball, basketball and soccer as youngsters. But Isaiah’s decision to play football changed the siblings’ path athletically. That impact is still felt at the school today.
The youngest sibling is Fairfield senior cornerback Josiah Scott, a Michigan State commit and one of the state’s top players in the 2017 class.
“The thing about Jo is that he is a lot like his brothers who have gone through here,” Fairfield Athletic Director Mark Harden said. “There is a quiet confidence about him that I think people gravitate toward even without him really trying.”
Josiah is one of the most recognizable players in Greater Cincinnati. He has swagger on the field, but he respects the game and knows it’s a privilege to play it. Isaiah, who played professional football, has told him as much.
“To see each child succeed in a sport that they love and each one learning from the other and the family unit that they have and the camaraderie of their brotherhood is phenomenal,” said Diana Ivkovich, Fairfield’s district athletic trainer.
Fairfield is No. 6 in the Division I, Region 4 computer points standings this week and the next three weeks will prove a lot about this team, with games at Mason and at Colerain to open October.
Josiah, who is a nominee for WCPO.com player of the week, knows the toughest part of the schedule starts this week and he’s eager for the challenge.
“Even though I am committed to Michigan State, teams are still going to try to come after me just like I am a regular person,” Josiah told WCPO.com before practice Tuesday. “I have a target on my back. Everyone wants to target me and see how good I really am.”
In last week’s 29-7 win over Lakota West, Josiah had a 98-yard kickoff return untouched for a touchdown. That tied the school record for the longest kickoff return, held by none other than Isaiah in 2008.
“I am proud of him,” said Isaiah, who coaches high school football in South Dakota and previously played professionally for an indoor league. “It’s cool. I wish he would’ve broken it.”
But there may be more opportunities for the 5-foot-10 ½, 172-pound Josiah. He’s stay focused on making an impact and helping the Indians to the playoffs.
Josiah said he received the best traits of his brothers. He has Isaiah’s speed and Joshua’s physicality. Josh is an educational assistant and seventh grade assistant football coach in district.
“I’m very proud of him; he’s the youngest, the baby of the family,” Josh said.
Josiah was an all-area selection last season as a junior who weighed 152 pounds. When he added weight to his frame this spring, additional scholarship offers arrived.
“I think athletically he is the total package,” Fairfield coach Jason Krause said.
Josiah gives credit to his parents for helping him improve physically through his diet. He added protein shakes and started eating healthier. He doesn’t drink soda or eat candy. He feels better on the field as a result.
“It’s a blessing to be out with my friends doing what I love,” Josiah said.
But being an exemplary student-athlete with his quiet leadership, significant work ethic and academic success, is continuing the family legacy in the final season of “Team Scott” at the school.
“I think it starts with his family,” Krause said. “You look at his upbringing. Mom and dad do a tremendous job obviously.”
Oliver, a former Ohio University cornerback, and Danielle set lofty expectations for their sons on and off the field.
“It’s 365 at our house,” Oliver said. “We always talk football.”
But, there is also perspective on life. Danielle doesn’t tolerate average grades or a weak effort in the classroom. She encourages her sons to have a backup career plan besides football.
Josiah, 17, serves on an advisory athletic department council. He works at Max and Erma’s, even during the season. He has also volunteered with the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League.
He plans to graduate in December and enroll at Michigan State in January.
Each week, the family will connect via social media or a group chat. The brothers stay connected throughout the week. Oliver and Danielle stay involved in their sons' lives whether that's high school or professionally.
“They want me to have my dreams and visions,” Josiah said.
Josiah is thankful for their wisdom. His siblings inspired him to achieve even greater success and they continue to be proud.
“They were huge,” Josiah said. “Coming up, they set the path for me.”
And he knows “Team Scott” will be there at his games at Fairfield or in the Big Ten.
“He’s the last one in the family,” Josh said. “It’s real important to me.”