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LOG ROLLER Q & A - Phil Scott


Scott(right) competes in China.(Contributed photo)

USLRA: Most agree that you’re among the best ever in the sport of Log Rolling - you won nine world titles and dominated the sport for about a decade before retiring in 1981. What have you been up to more recently?

Scott: Up until four years ago I was doing a lot of shows, including Paul Bunyan Lumberjack shows out of Florida. I was actually in China doing shows for about six months, I ended up staying there for a year and half. I also ended up doing shows for Green Lakes Timber shows in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan. Strangely enough for me after wandering all these years Log Rolling, doing tournaments and shows, I finally settled down back home in Barrington (Nova Scotia) the past four years.

USLRA: It’s been more than 10 years since you’ve come to watch the Log Rolling World Championships. You’ve talked about returning one day, do you think you’ll ever come back to Hayward to watch?

Scott: I know there’s been a lot of changes but I’m thinking I’d like to go there and walk the streets in Hayward again and maybe let my thoughts wander back. I’ve thought about it and think maybe I’ll even come back this summer.

USLRA: Take us back to the 1970’s, where you essentially dominated professional Log Rolling. You won nine World titles – talk about how much your life revolved around the sport at that time?

Scott: Back in the 70’s I was living it and breathing it. My life centered around it. I did a lot of training back then but really the sport has changed a lot since my heyday.

USLRA: How so?

Scott: I first came to Hayward in 1968. At that time the smallest log they had was a ’14 inch (2 log) and you just went on that until someone fell. The next year there was a women’s champion named Cindi Cook and she was having some long matches because she was so light and so good. They brought a ’13 inch log (3 log) in 1969 and hardly ever used it for a few years. But the caliber of Log Rollers got better through the 70’s so they started using the ’13 inch log more frequently. Then in 1976 they brought a ’12 inch log (4 log), which for a while wasn’t so bad because they still had a 10 minute time limit on the ’13.

USLRA: Didn’t that eventually change around that time?

Scott: In 1976 I still had 10 minutes to wear my opponent down so it gave me quite a margin to use my training and endurance (to win). A few years later though they cut the time limit to six minutes before you went to the ’12. So in the late 70’s and early 80’s they kept shaving the time limits down and I was an endurance roller. They had chopped those time limits down to the point where I was pretty much handicapped because I couldn’t use my endurance as much. Once (the men) get to the ’12 inch log it’s just a crapshoot.

USLRA: You’re one of the only top pro log rollers in history that could roll both shoulders equally well. How did you learn to roll both sides so well?

Scott: My advantage was that I grew up learning how to roll in Nova Scotia during the old river drives. It was not what you would call a (professional) learning style back then so we just rolled both sides. All of us did. I was one of 11 kids in my family and that’s how we all did it. We learned that way and really didn’t know any better. It was kind of the Nova Scotia style. And for me it was a big advantage (as a pro) because in a bucking match against a bigger roller I could flip shoulders and turn it into a running match.

USLRA: Who was the best roller you ever faced?

Scott: That’s a tough one to answer. There were so many. Dan (McDonough) was a great Log Roller. With Jube Wickheim - he was different. His style was awkward. He would just clamp on and you couldn’t knock him off. His brother Ardie was also good but had the opposite style. He had the prettiest style I’ve ever seen. It was like he was floating on a bubble. There were so many though.

USLRA: Thanks for your time.

Scott: You’re welcome. God bless.

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