From the moment that Norfolk State hired Latrell Scott, he had one goal, besides building a football program: Make sure the Battle of The Bay rivalry game against Hampton was a sellout.
As a Hampton alumnus, Scott knows the importance of the game. He says that the players deserve to experience what he felt when he was a part of the rivalry from 1994 through 1998.
“We go over to Old Dominion it’s sold out in front of 21,000. We got to Rutgers there’s 41,000 people. We go to Marshall last week, its 25,000 people,” Scott said at a mid-week news conference between the teams. “I think these kids deserve that.”
To that end, Scott says he’s challenged alumni groups at both his alma mater as well as his new school to pack Dick Price Stadium, which seats 30,000.
Despite his emphasis on promoting the game, Scott knows that his first job is to coach his team to a win. The Spartans enter Saturday’s game 0-3 after starting the season with three-consecutive games against FBS opponents.
“Its great that it’s the Battle of the Bay, but I wouldn’t care if we were playing Maury (High School), we need to win a football game.”
Despite his opponents winless record, Hampton’s Connell Maynor isn’t taking his opponents lightly.
“I think Norfolk State is the best 0-3 football team in FCS team in FCS football. They’ve played some very good football teams. They were in every game at halftime, and kind of got wore down by the numbers. Those teams had more bullets, more depth and it kinda just weighed on them in the second half.”
Despite his requisite, “just another game speech,” Scott says he’s already started hearing it from his extended Hampton family.
“I’ll see my teammates here. I’ll see people I went to school with. I’ve gotten a hundred messages saying ‘good luck, but we’re not pulling for you.”