Scott Key, who was born with no lower legs, one arm down to his waist and one arm with a hand with only two fingers, got his start in wrestling because his mother was from Iowa and that was what was expected of him. Key remembers that he always wrestled with other family members in Iowa and took his fair share of “butt kicking” but that always served as motivation for him. Scott wrestled at Maine-Endwell High School and excelled in wrestling at all levels. Fred Marcello, his coach and a Hall of Fame member of this chapter, stated this about Scott, “Scott never wanted to be treated differently than anyone else and did not want anyone to feel sorry for him. He was the most positive person I know and he truly deserves this award.”
One of the highlights in Scott’s career occurred at the Ithaca dual meet. Maine-Endwell came into the match with a long winning streak and the match came down to Scott’s bout. Scott does not remember much about the match but recalls that with five second left in the match he was able to secure a takedown and seal the victory for the Spartans. He recalls the wonderful feeling that he had when all his teammates “pig-piled” him on the mat in a celebration of the victory. Key mentioned that one of the best things about wrestling was that it was an individual sport but being part of the team was by far the most important thing about the sport. Scott reveals that Coach Marcello taught him that if you want to be successful at anything, you have to really prepare for it. If you put forth the effort, you can achieve anything.
Scott had an 85-37 career record at Maine-Endwell and wrestled on the varsity level for four years. During his tenure at M-E, he would place in the Southern Tier Athletic Conference Tournament 3 times as well as place in the top six at the overall Section IV tournament on several occasions. In addition, team-mate Mark Gumble remembers the numerous times that Scott played a major role in many team victories. Additionally, Mark related that Scott was one of the hardest working wrestlers on the team and always placed the team above all of his personal accomplishments. Scott also gives Rick Gumble, Hall of Fame member, a lot of credit for his development as a wrestler. He stated that Rick took a lot of the ME wrestlers to summer wrestling tournaments and there Scott learned how to wrestle both Greco-Roman and freestyle.
Later in life Scott became an accomplished guitar player. He started and played in a band for over 20 years and if you check out “youtube” you can hear and see Scott playing his music. His band was called “Scott Key and the Stolen Band”. Scott shared that the name is derived from the fact that he usually stole good players from other bands. Key believed just like his coaches that you surround yourself with the best people possible and that will insure that you will be highly successful whether it is in sports or life.
Scott also developed a bond with famous wrestling coach Dan Gable. Gable actually wrote a letter to Scott telling him what an inspiration he was to all wrestlers. And on a trip out to Iowa, Coach Gable actually welcomed him into the Iowa wrestling room and gave him a person tour of all the facilities at the University of Iowa. Gable related to Scott that when some of his wrestlers were feeling sorry for themselves. He would have them read a news clip about Scott.
Scott is now a proud father of two sons and the grandfather of two grandchildren living in Harvey’s Lake, Pennsylvania.
The Upstate New York Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame is honored to bestow the Medal of Courage to Scott at this year’s ceremony at the Double Tree Hotel in East Syracuse. Scott is certainly an inspiration to many people in life, sports and music.
Medal of Courage
New York - Upstate