Clare County Review & Marion Press News

Faces in the Crowd: Arend Scott

Beverages, basketball, and a big, beautiful family.
That pretty much sums up the life of 1990 Marion grad, Arend Scott.
The son of Ray and Paula Scott, Arend grew up doing what many Marion kids do. Riding bikes, playing sports, spending most of his time outside with family and friends.
And right out of high school, Arend started his career in the beverage industry, where he still works today. What started out as a summer gig making deliveries for Coca-Cola, has turned into a 34+ year career in the industry. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
And while he was a senior in high school, he got his start coaching basketball. He started coaching 4th graders on the weekends right here in Marion, and has since spent the last few decades coaching in Marion, Eaton Rapids, and Houghton Lake among other places. He’s coached elementary, middle school, high school and AAU. This past season, he was the assistant for both Marion’s boys’ and girls’ varsity programs. Basketball is in his blood.
So it’s no surprise that his kids were, and are into basketball: Daughters Loriel, Camryn, and Mackenzie were all competitive athletes in high school, and his son Quinn just wrapped up his junior season on Marion’s basketball team.
But there’s more to Arend’s story than just basketball and beverages. We caught up with Arend recently, and we learned a little bit more about his life. We learned that Arend Scott is certainly more than just another face in the crowd.

Marion Press: Where you born and raised?
Arend: I was actually born near Shreveport, Louisiana, in an army hospital. I think it’s Leesville, out by Shreveport, in an army hospital, back when my dad was stationed there. And then I was raised in Marion, and all my youth memories are from Marion.
MP: What kept you busy as a kid, growing up in the Scott family?
Arend: It was just my brother and I, and we lived a mile west of town. We did a lot of bike riding, playing in the woods, household chores… We were fortunate that we had an above ground pool, and so we learned to swim. I started swimming when I was 4, and he was 2.
As I got a little bit older, sports started to take over: little league baseball, football in middle school… During the school year, we’d just stay at my aunt’s in town, because we’d have a lot of after school stuff.
We’d ride our bikes into town and hang out with friends and cousins. Doing a lot of – what I’d call the normal stuff – playing baseball on side yards, playing basketball – we played a lot of basketball – a lot of that outdoor stuff. There was no such thing as playing indoors, unless it was raining!
MP: Back in the days before Nintendo!
Arend: We got the game of Pong for our first video game, and one of my friends got an Atari gaming console. That was back in the days of Donkey Kong – that was the game!
MP: What were some of your favorite memories from high school?
Arend: I graduated in ’90, and high school in the late ‘80s was – I’m not sure the best way to describe it – a lot of interaction. When I was a freshman, I’d hang out with a lot of my friends and cousins who were juniors and seniors. And that was always fun because you were hanging out with the “older kids” and at the same time hanging out with your own age group. The whole experience was pretty family-like. I had a class of, I think, 40. 30 boys and 10 girls. The majority of us played football, some of us played basketball, but we were all a pretty close group. We were close friends, and relatives in some cases… I didn’t miss a day of high school my junior and senior years, and my motto was: I don’t want to miss sports, and I don’t want to have to do any homework!
MP: Your basketball and football teams had a lot of success, kind of turned things around in the late ‘80s.
Arend: Before us, that would’ve been in the mid-‘80s, and I wouldn’t say that the teams before us were bad, because they were always very competitive. But by my senior year of basketbal, we changed it around, we were competing. We were co-conference champs with Manton in the Highland. And that was coming off from football, where we went 8-1 and were also co-champs in the Highland for football. That was a cool time. That was Mr. Cutler – and he’d already been there for a few years. And the next year my brother [Eric] and Ross [Richards] and those guys were able to get past Frankfort all the way to the championship.
MP: After graduating, where did life take you? Did you go to college, enter the workforce?
Arend: I graduated on Memorial Day weekend. That Monday, on Memorial Day in 1990, I went to work for Coca-Cola as a beverage summer driver. I had to miss some district baseball practice because of it, because baseball was still going on and I was working at the same time. So I kind of jumped into the workforce literally right out of high school. I had a “cup of coffee” at Ferris that fall, decided that college wasn’t for me, and went right back to work in the beverage industry for 7-Up. I lived at home, and kept on working in the beverage industry as a driver, and kept on learning. On Memorial Day Monday, I’ll be starting my 34th year of beverage.
MP: What have you enjoyed the most about working in the beverage industry?
Arend: I’ve been really fortunate to grow up in the beverage industry. It’s a saying that I have, my kids would tell you: I don’t have a job, I haven’t worked a day in my life, because I love the beverage industry. I love what I do.
There’s been a lot of great things I’ve been able to take in within my career, but the most satisfying role that I’ve been able to have was when I was a driver in my first 10 to 12 years of being a driver.
While it was physical – a case of half-liter glass weighs 72 pounds, by the way; 8 bottles of 2 liters weigh 39 pounds. And for perspective, you wheel 6 half-liter cases at a time, and if you were a little ambitious young guy – like I used to be – you’d kick back 10 two liter [cases] which was 390 pounds and I probably weighed 180! Those are odd numbers that I remember, but I enjoyed going out and delivering a full truck of products. Going to 15, 20 stops in a day, and coming back with a completely empty, organized truck, ready to be reloaded for the next day. There’s a lot of satisfaction of accomplishment in being a delivery driver. Whereas the roles that I’ve been in since then have different levels of accomplishment, but there’s never that – what I call – closure.
The most enjoyable part of this career that I have is that there are never two days that are ever the same. I live by the motto: “If you ever hear me say ‘same old, same old’ that probably means that I’m getting ready to retire or get out of what I’m doing. That’s not my style, that’s not my personality. No two days are ever the same: similar, sure, but never the same.
MP: At some point, you went out and started a family. Tell us about that.
Arend: I met my wife in 1994, by a chance meeting. This was back before cell phones, so you didn’t have a cell phone to call her on. Met Roxanne in Big Rapids in the spring, and we met up again in the fall at a birthday. She’s originally from Plainwell, and she moved up north a few months later. We dated, and we were married in ’96 at the Methodist Church right in town. We’ll be married 27 years this September. Our oldest daughter was born in ’98. We now have 4 kids: Loriel, she’s 25 now. Camryn, she just turned 23. Mackenzie is our youngest daughter, she’s 20. And our son, Quinn, he’s 17 and a junior at Marion High School.
MP: What do the Scott’s enjoy doing as a family?
Arend: We enjoy family get-togethers, cookouts, yard games like cornhole. We have a very competitive family as you might imagine; all my kids were athletic. We love cookouts, we love being together on the water. We vacation, spring break together for the most part. We started doing Florida trips when my kids were in middle school, and we’re still doing that to this day. And I’m blessed, Camryn and her husband have two grandkids for us. We’ve got a 3-year-old granddaughter, Jolee, and a 9-month-old grandson, Bo.
MP: Basketball has always been a big part of your life. What is it about the game of basketball that you enjoy the most?
Arend: There’s a couple things that really stand out for me, from two perspectives; a player’s perspective, and a coaches’ perspective.
As a player, I always loved the competitiveness of 5 people against 5 people, and inside of that, it’s a 1-on-1 game. And it was more about the defense against someone else’s offense. I always enjoyed that type of competitiveness, where you’d be guarding their best player – or what they thought was their best player – on the team, and your job was to not let them score, or not let them score as many points as they normally do. I always enjoyed competing. It was never so much about the offensive side of things – even though I loved to score as much as anybody – it was more about the competitiveness of defense, the hard work, and seeing the results. And I loved being a part of the team. I’d rather give the assist and see someone make a nice basket, because that was more rewarding to me…
From a coaches perspective, I’m a big learner, and I’m still a learner today. I’ve learned a lot from different coaches, and something that I’ve learned and been reminded of: No matter what the coach’s skill level is – good, bad, or indifferent, perceptively – you can always learn. And I’ve thought that same thing as a coach. It doesn’t matter how good I think I am, it matters what impact I can make. So, as a coach, I’ve been able to kind of take a step back a little bit. I’m trying to coach, I’m trying to lead, but I’m also trying to teach. It doesn’t matter if it’s a boys’ team or a girls’ team. It’s not about the wins and losses. It’s about coaching, and teaching, and leading, and mentoring some of these kids.
MP: What do you enjoy the most about living in northern Michigan?
Arend: I enjoy the outdoors; I’m an avid hunter and fisherman. I enjoy the anonymity that northern Michigan has to offer. You can live, and just enjoy your life. Northern Michigan is more of that laid back, go at your own pace. It’s not a slow pace; it’s go at your own pace. If you want to go a little faster, you can; if you want to go a little slower, you can. And there’s a lot of calmness in that for us. For our family, we enjoy it.
MP: Who have been your role models? What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Arend: I’ve had two great role models in my life, and I’ve been very fortunate. My primary role model in life, to this day, is my dad [Ray]. The way he’s always had a quiet calmness about him. And in my career, I was very blessed to have a great role model, Tom Soltis. He fostered my career, and helped me learn a lot of different things in the beverage industry – and that translated into my personal life.
One of the things he taught me: ‘If you listen long enough, you will learn.’ And that’s the key. You’ve got to listen long enough to learn, because you don’t have all the answers.

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