Senior Spotlight: Wide Receiver Paxton Scott ’24
Scott reflects on his growth as a player and individual since his first year, how former Robert L. Blackman head coach Buddy Teevens influenced him and defining moments in his football career.
Courtesy of Paxton Scott
When Paxton Scott ’24 — Phil Steele 2023 Preseason All-Ivy League Second Team and wide receiver — first arrived at Memorial Field, he was ecstatic to soak up as much as possible within his new environment.
“When I was in high school, I had no idea how defenses played — I didn’t even know what coverages were,” Scott said.
However, not long after he arrived on campus, Scott learned the ways of Dartmouth football and got his football IQ above par. He reflected on how his skills on the field have grown since he was a first-year, and how he realized that he couldn’t have achieved all his goals on the field right away.
“Like a lot of college freshmen, you want to come in and be the man and be the go-to guy, but that’s not how it works,” Scott said. “You have to work your way up through the ranks. I wanted everything, and now it’s more like a delayed gratification of going into work every day and building it piece by piece.”
Scott indeed has worked his way through the rankings. Scott received Rookie of the Week, an All-Ivy League Honorable mention, Phil Steele All-Ivy Fourth Team and the Doten Award for making a significant contribution to the team as a sophomore all during his rookie season. Last season, he was honored by receiving the Alan Hewitt ’34 and Robert Hewitt ’40 Award “as the player who best epitomizes athletic performance with academic achievement.”
Scott said the defining moment in his football career came early on.
“I think my biggest defining moment was winning the Ivy League Championship in 2021,” Scott said. “I was a young guy, and that was my first time ever playing. I led the team in yards, catches and receiving touchdowns. But being a main contributor to a team like that, where we had so many good players — that was a huge feeling.”
In addition to being an outstanding football player, Scott has also performed extremely well academically. Scott received the CoSIDA Academic All-District I back-to-back in 2021 and 2022. However, Scott emphasized that he would not be able to achieve all that he has without the support of the football coaches and staff.
“Being recognized is always a great feeling,” Scott said. “I do put a lot of work in, but I also have a lot of great people to help me out, especially the coaches and the rest of the staff.”
Scott spoke about how former Robert L. Blackman head coach Buddy Tevens was his “biggest role model,” motivating him to become the best, most “confident” version of himself. Scott recalled a moment during the 2021 season when Teevens helped him learn to keep his head up after making mistakes on the field.
“That season, against Columbia, I didn’t have my best game,” Scott explained. “I was really disappointed with how I played. But I went in the next day, I said, ‘How do I get my confidence up? I want to be a contributor for this team, and I don’t want to let everyone down.’ And [Teevens] responded, ‘Do you. Be the player that you are. We’re going to keep putting you in those situations, and we know you’re going to make a play.’”
Scott also recognized wide receivers assistant coach Dave Shula ’81 for all his help in football and academics.
“[Shula] always works around our schedule, and I know that can be really tough on him, especially with the limited time he has and limited time that I have,” Scott said.
Despite both of their busy schedules, Shula seems to always value the time he spends with Scott.
“[Scott] makes it easy to be a coach and makes it fun to be a coach,” Shula said. “He’s got great ideas. He works very hard to improve himself physically in the weight room and doing his running and receiver skill improvement type of drills, not only when he’s here, but when he’s home.”
Scott said that after Teevens’s loss, the team has come together to support each other.
“It’s obviously been tough having someone like that leave from your life so suddenly,” Scott said. “No one would ever wish that upon anyone. But as a team, I think the thing that got me through the most was being around my teammates and knowing the fact that he wouldn’t want us to move on, but move forward.”
Scott said the team is constantly thinking about Teevens during practice and what he would do in any situation.
“How would he want us to be playing, how would he want us to be practicing, how would he be wanting us to do the day to day things to help make us great?” Scott asked.
Quarterback Dylan Cadwallader ’23 goes way back with Scott. Cadwallader said that he first met Scott in middle school when they were on the same travel team together.
“We’ve been through some difficult stuff together with the loss of a teammate and Coach Teevens as well,” Cadwallader said. “But outside of football, he’s always a guy that’ll brighten up a room. He’s always uplifting all the teammates, and he’s always got a big smile on.”
With the season almost coming to an end, Scott said he has realized the impact the team has had on him.
“As everyone’s careers come to an end, you really start to appreciate the people that you’ve grown up with, the people that you’ve worked with for three and a half years now,” Scott said. “It’s something special.”
Scott said he expects to pursue a fifth year at Dartmouth due to his extra year of eligibility from the 2020-21 season during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s hard to turn away from Dartmouth,” Scott said.