MADISON, W.Va. -- Judging by their record and roster, the Scott Skyhawks appear to be ahead of schedule.
"I agree completely," Scott Coach Nick Cabell said. "I attribute that to all of the work they did during the summer and the off-season. We played 49 games during the summer and 16 more games during the fall. My juniors are playing like seniors, my sophomores are playing like juniors, and my freshmen are playing like sophomores."
Stocked with seven juniors, four sophomores and two freshmen compared to only one senior, one would expect a breakthrough season from the Boone County school and Cardinal Conference program next year rather than this year.
That has not been the case, however, and the Skyhawks' lone senior is a big reason why.
Team captain and shooting guard Matthew Dolan has lived up to both of his titles, scoring 140 of the Skyhawks' 505 points and leading them to an 8-0 start this season.
A three-year starter and four-year contributor, Dolan played on Scott's 2010-11 Class AA state runner-up team. He is 84 points shy of the 1,000-point mark.
"Matt is a great player," Cabell said of Dolan, who scored 15 points in the Skyhawks' 63-51 victory versus Chapmanville on Friday. "He is a great kid on and off the court. He is a good role model for the young guys.
"He leads by example about 90 percent of the time, but when he needs to be vocal, he will step up and do it. As a coach, it is great when you have a guy like that because that is one less thing you have to worry about. He listens to everything. He probably has the biggest will to win on the team, and that rubs off on his teammates."
Dolan is the unquestioned leader of a seven-man nucleus that features junior point guard Cody Brown, junior center Dylyn Brown, sophomore small forward Eric May, sophomore point guard Kirk Price, sophomore center Anthony Sigmon and sophomore power forward Logan Webb.
Four juniors - shooting guard Dylan DeHart, power forward Tyler Hill, point guard Nick Kuhn and shooting guard Brandon Lafauci - also are starting to earn more playing time.