Scott Motter: English Teacher By Day, Track Coach By Night

Gregory Vine

Tuscarora is known for many things, our love of Wawa, our phenomenal soccer team, and our under-performing football team. But, most people outside of our county and state know us for our track program. The track program has become feared and respected both in-county and out of state. They are able to consistently compete at state and national levels. Throughout that time Scott Motter, an English teacher here at Tuscarora High School has guided the program to be one of the best in the state.

Before Motter started teaching here at Tuscarora he taught up north in Pennsylvania and coached a wide variety of sports. As a student he was a three sport athlete at Littlestown High school and a starter on varsity football and basketball from his sophomore to senior year. Because of his accomplishments in high school he was able to compete at a college level.

A large number of students who are interested or a part of the track team believe Coach Motter is the reason why track is so successful. And when asked about it Motter declined and states, “That it is the athletes that make the program.” But, last year 3 important track athletes graduated. Those three made up a large part of our program, when asked about the future Coach Motter says that before those three it was Jordan Addison, Aris Hillard and Joe Shell all three went D1 and were some of the best athletes he had ever coached. But, the most recent 4×200 and 4×100 only had one athlete competing in track and field at the D3 level. From college recognition alone Addison, Hillard and Shell should destroy the most recent 3. But instead the most recent team was within 4/10’s of a second in the 4×100 and was actually faster in the 4×200 than a team of D1 athletes. So Motter doesn’t know what the future holds for the team because until you get into the thick of it you don’t know what you got. What matters to him is the work you put in, the belief you have and the willingness you have to run for your teammate. 

When asked whether the track team is underrepresented for the accomplishments it has Motter said, “For the accomplishments that we’ve had, I would have to agree with you. The acknowledgement of what has actually happened in the program, I wish sat at a different level than what it does right now.” The track team has been able to perform consistently on both the boys and girls side but has barely been recognized by the school and student body. Last year during indoor track season our 4×200 team competed at the national level and wasn’t even mentioned in either the announcements or the titans times. Which is incredibly sad for a track program that was able to reach the upper echelons of high school sports then be nearly invisible to the student population. It’s understandable that football and basketball would be the primary force for sports in high school but the lack of recognition outside of the track team is appalling.

The track program has become a star within high school track and field throughout the state, “Across the board within our county, within our state people know us. People talk about us, we are a standard when it comes to essentially the sprint platform. And we are probably talked about outside of our school more than inside of our school.” And while talking about being under-recognized the track itself was brought up and how we as a school seem to be less equipped than the other schools in the area. With Tuscarora being one of the last schools to get a turf field, while still needing to restore our track.

Over the past few months Coach Motter has debated over whether or not he will return to coach over health issues saying, “I am not positive how things are gonna work out on my end,” and how he believes he has to be a rock for everyone else to lean on. He hopes to be able to return but does not know if he will be able to. 

As a final question Motter was asked about who he thinks is his most successful athlete, “I don’t gauge success by a number on the clock, our program is tied to somebody starting a clock and somebody stopping a clock … But, I gauge our program and the success that happens within it, either as a whole or individually as somebody having a dream and then me helping them get there. And there is no way I could narrow that down to one.” Motter has coached Jordan Addison who is predicted to be a first round draft pick in the NFL. If Motter gauged success by commercial achievement he could easily pick Addison. But the fact that he could not pick one only exemplifies his abilities as a coach and the quality of his character. Each one of the athletes he coached are different and each and every athlete he has coached has done something that was important to them. Either a time they wanted to reach, or a distance they wanted to achieve, all of their successes were important to them and therefore to him so it is impossible to pick just one.