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Scott displays athletic prowess in fall season

| Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 8:53 p.m.

Severin Scott is a talented soccer player who made it onto Thomas Jefferson's varsity team as a freshman.

Soccer is his first love.

But when the Jaguars were eliminated from WPIAL playoff contention this fall, Scott wasn't ready to stop competing.

Scott asked Bill Wetzel, TJ's cross country coach, if he could run for the boys' team in the final two meets. Not only did he participate in those meets, he qualified for the WPIAL finals — then became the first TJ athlete to qualify for the PIAA cross country finals in the past five years.

Running is not new to Scott. Part of a soccer player's training includes a lot of running. And it became Scott's second favorite sport. He also is a member of the TJ indoor and outdoor track teams.

Scott's soccer resume is impressive as well. He played center midfielder and forward, and was a three-year team captain.

He earned all-section honors in his sophomore and junior years This year, he suffered a season-ending concussion, which was a disappointing end to his scholastic soccer career.

When the TJ soccer team was eliminated from playoff contention, Scott decided to compete in another sport.

He never dreamed he would get his chance to compete in Hershey. It was a new experience for him and his parents.

“He ended soccer on a down note, and I think he just wanted to give cross country a shot,” Lisa Scott, his mother, said. “Severin had always wanted to go to states for soccer, since he was a little kid.”

After Severin's strong showing at the Tri-State Track Coaches Association meet, teammate Cole Devine, a freshman, offered Scott his spot on the varsity team so he would have a shot at qualifying for the PIAA meet in Hershey.

It was a generous, sportsmanlike offer that Severin appreciated.

“It was his decision. The coach didn't tell him to do it,” he said.

Severin did not squander the opportunity. He placed 12th at the WPIAL Class AA championships with a 17:33 time, qualifying for the state finals in the process.

“That was the most gratifying experience in my entire sports career,” he said.

The PIAA Class AA meet took place in Hershey on Nov. 3.

Severin, in just his third cross country event of the year, finished 68th out of 228 runners with a time of 17:36.

The talented student-athlete is a National Honor Society member with a sterling 4.3 grade point average.

He plans to study biology or pre-medicine in college. He also plans to try out as a walk-on in either soccer or cross country at the collegiate level.

Severin has no regrets about choosing soccer over cross country in high school.

“I wouldn't go back and change anything,“ he said.

Jennifer Goga is a freelance writer.

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