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‘MR. 2,000’: Canton asst. coach/scorekeeper reaches rare milestone

 ‘MR. 2,000’: Canton asst. coach/scorekeeper reaches rare milestone

Scott Thomas is pictured holding the scorebook in which he registered his 2,000th game.

It was only appropriate that on a snowy, blustery January night, Canton boys assistant basketball coach/scorekeeper Scott Thomas reached an incredible endurance- and resilience-related milestone — in, of all places, Howell, which is over an hour from the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park campus where he works.

On Wednesday, Thomas kept the scorebook for his 2,000th high school basketball game — a feat few high school athletics-related volunteers accomplish.

As fate would have it, the widely-admired Plymouth High School educator was scheduled to reach 2,000 last week when the Chiefs were scheduled to host Salem — his alma mater — but the game was postponed due to inclement weather.

Thomas’s Cal Ripken-esque streak started in compelling fashion when he was serving as an assistant coach for Canton/Salem coaching legend Bob Blohm during the 2000-01 season, when girls basketball was played in the fall and boys in the winter.

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“It was our third or fourth game of the season,” Thomas vividly recalled. “The guy doing our book either got a technical foul or almost did. Before our next game, Bob said to me, ‘I want you to start doing the book’.”

Scott Thomas is pictured with Bob Blohm and Jimmy Reddy
Scott Thomas is pictured with Bob Blohm and Jimmy Reddy

Twenty-four seasons later, Thomas is still doing the book.

He still remembers all of the coaches — for both Chiefs boys and girls teams — for whom he’s meticulously maintained statistics.

“On the girls side, it’s been Bob Blohm, Brian Samulski, Lauren Delapaz and Rob Heitmeyer,” he said. “For the boys, it’s been Jeremy Rheault, Charlie Paye, Dan Colligan and Jimmy Reddy.

“I sincerely couldn’t have worked with a better group of coaches and human beings.”

Reddy asserted Thomas’s diligence for the Canton basketball programs over the years is appreciated more than words can say.

‘Mr. Consistency’

“I’ve known Scott since my senior year of high school (the 1999-2000 basketball season),” Reddy said. “We coached a girls eighth-grade AAU team together in 2001.

“Scott is Mr. Consistency. He’s great to have around and he loves Canton.”

Thomas said he learned a ton about coaching high school basketball from Blohm, a hall-of-famer whose name adorns Canton High School’s court.

“As a fan, naturally I always watched the ball,” Thomas said. “Once I started coaching with Bob, we’d sit under the basket during practice and he’d teach me how important it is to watch the other players who don’t have the ball.

“When I’m keeping the book, I have to watch the ball, obviously, because knowing who scores is your job. But when it comes to watching the ball or the players who don’t have the ball, I transition back and forth when I’m coaching and keeping the book.”

3 games a day

Thomas’s game-day duties have changed over the years. In the beginning, he not only kept the official scorebook for Canton’s girls teams, he kept individual statistics like rebounds.

Scott Thomas is pictured teaching a class at Plymouth High School
Scott Thomas is pictured teaching a class at Plymouth High School

“After (Brian) Samulski, they started doing the individual stats on iPads, so there was a long time I wasn’t doing stats by hand,” he explained. “Now, I’m back keeping rebounds and baskets scored off offensive rebounds.”

For most of his score-keeping career, Thomas has maintained the book for each day’s freshmen, junior varsity and varsity games — all after teaching a full day at Plymouth.

“It makes for a long day,” he said, “but it’s totally worth it.”

Thomas, who lives and thrives with cerebral palsy, said the attachment to teams coaching provides is incredibly special for him.

“When I was growing up, I wasn’t allowed to try out for high school sports teams,” he said. “This gives me a chance to be a part of helping high school students become better people and players.”

Here’s to another 2,000, Scott!

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com

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