Dave Scott’s career path literally took flight after college.
Scott, who helped Portales win the school’s first state football title in 1979, was stationed in four countries, three continents and nine states while flying helicopters for the U.S. Army and Coast Guard.
The Chandler, Ariz., resident still flies for a living, working for the Department of Energy checking power lines and assisting work crews.
“I feel like I never worked a day in my life,” said Scott, 51, whose duties while flying for the Coast Guard included search and rescue, law enforcement and national security patrols.
One of his most memorable missions included his co-pilot navigating using his iPhone after the radar went out they were conducting rescue operations after Hurricane Ike.
Scott played linebacker and blocking back on varsity for three years at Portales, culminating with the Rams’ 15-14 win over Silver City in the title game. After the Rams scored with 2 1/2 minutes left to pull within 14-13, coach Tommy Gruber brought the troops together. “We didn’t come here to tie the game,” Scott remembers Gruber saying.
After faking to Scott, quarterback Eddie Poe passed to wide receiver Eddie Harris with what turned out to be the game-winning two-point conversion.
“It was unbelievable,” Scott remembers. “We were predicted to win like two games entering the season (Portales finished 11-2).
“After we won the state championship, I remember putting my (school) books in the trunk of my car and not taking them out the rest of the year.”
Scott said he remains close friends with Poe, who lives in nearby Phoenix, and more than once they’ve relived the title game over adult beverages.
Football also played a role in his marriage, as he recruited future wife, Renee, for his flag football team while at Eastern New Mexico University because she was a high school track star at Roswell.
The Scotts have three children ranging in ages from 19 to 24.