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Ice Breaker: Name fits Holton’s Tuff Scott, an adventurer who operates with no fear

Red Devils senior bowls and golfs, but dirt-bike racing may provide his biggest thrill.

When friends call Tuff Scott “crazy,” they mean it in the nicest way possible.

“He just does stuff that no one else has the guts to do,” Holton senior Bo Larabee said about his classmate and bowling teammate.

Holton senior Aiden Moore added about Scott’s risk-taking, no-fear attitude: “He grew up racing dirt bikes, so he would just always go for everything. Even if no one would, he would just go for it. I think he’s broken, like, 24 bones.”

You’re probably wondering by now: Is “Tuff” really his first name?

Indeed, it is. His birth certificate reads “Tuff LeRoy Scott.”

“I went home and asked my mom why she didn’t name me ‘Tuff,'” Larabee quipped when he remembered meeting Scott as in school as youngsters.

The 17-year-old son of Dalton and Amanda Scott is the baby of the family. He’s grown up with five older sisters, which he joked has made him “tough” — or is it “Tuff.”

The Twin Lake resident, who attends Holton on school of choice because he appreciates the “supportive, small community,” is the Red Devils’ anchor bowler. Scott played football when he was younger, but he gave it up and took up more independent sports such as bowling and golf.

Holton senior Tuff Scott has a passion for dirt-biking and he’s won multiple motorcross state championships. (Courtesy of Tuff Scott)

Scott has long had a passion for dirt bikes and that’s never waned. He said he got his first bike at 2 years old. In motocross, he won four state championships in one year. More recently, he collected two more state titles in hill climbing.

“He’s crazy because he has no fear — he really has no fear. If you say, ‘Let’s go jump off the bridge,’ he’ll go jump off the bridge,” Holton bowling and golf coach Jessica Wagenmaker said with a chuckle. “In trying anything new, it’s good to have (no fear).

“He’s a good kid. He’s sweet. He’s really nice and always so respectful to me as a coach and as a teacher.”

Wagenmaker met Scott when he was in her sixth-grade science class at Holton.

The 5-foot-11, 140-pound Scott has always had a slighter build, especially compared to his father, who stands 6-7.

“He was this tiny, little kid. Like, he was so small. But I also had his dad in school and he’s a giant. He’s super tall,” Wagenmaker recalled.

Holton’s Tuff Scott is shown competing in bowling. (Courtesy of Dan Packard)

Tuff Scott has been coming up big for Holton’s bowling team. He was averaging 210 until he shot 115 amid a recent illness and it lowered his average to 180. He ranked No. 1 in the West Michigan Conference prior to the low game, and now he’s tied with Moore for second place in the league standings behind the 182 average held by Orchard View’s Ashton Tjapkes.

Scott has made all-tournament teams this season in events hosted by Fruitport and Orchard View. Conference, Greater Muskegon Athletic Association, and regional tournaments are on the horizon.

Early last season, Scott set the Holton record with a high game of 248 until teammate Chase Albright came along with a 279 weeks later. Scott said the highest game he’s shot was a 258 in practice. His top series is in the high-600s, he said.

In the 2022-23 season, Scott earned All-WMC honors and he was 13th in the region. He averaged 161. Scott also received all-conference honorable mention accolades in golf last spring.

Holton’s Tuff Scott is shown during a golf tournament. (Courtesy of Dan Packard)

Upon graduation, Scott is set to pursue a career as an electrician. He was an apprentice last summer. He said he’ll start working full-time and that his trade-school expenses will be covered. He’s the mechanical type, who enjoys tinkering on vehicles.

Before Scott becomes an electrician, he has a goal to pursue on the bowling lanes.

“Last year, he missed going to state (finals). I was disappointed in that, but he was more so disappointed in that and I think this year he just has a hunger for that,” Wagenmaker said. “That’s his goal, ‘I want to get to state, I want to get to state as a team,’ because (the boys) team missed it last year, too. They missed the cut.

“You can see that hunger. Also, (bowling is) just something that he’s picked up and worked at on his own. He’ll try different things on his own and that’s huge, the time you put in outside of practice. He’s one of those people, once he likes something, he’s on it.”

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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