When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the country into quarantine last spring, Lewis Scruggs did not waste the time.

Scruggs, who was then a junior forward on the Athens Academy boys soccer team, kept working on his skills despite the cancellation of the Spartans’ season.

This year, that work is paying off in a big way.

Scruggs, now a senior, recently became Athens Academy’s single-season scoring record holder.

Previously, Tony Salloum held that record with 28 goals. By Monday night, Scruggs was up to 37.

“During the quarantine, every day I would go out to some soccer field around Athens and just shoot the ball,” Scruggs said. “I'd work on shooting the ball on target and striking the ball.”

While he was working during the shutdown, Scruggs found the motivation and determination he needed to have a strong season.

“I knew I was (going to have a breakout season),” Scruggs said. “I just knew because of all the training that I did over quarantine.”

Scruggs found out he was the new record holder after a game last week. When he heard the news, he could not contain his excitement.

“I was pumped,” Scruggs said. “I was so excited. I was jumping up and down and screaming. It's awesome.”

Athens Academy head coach Stefan Billmayer said that Scruggs’ early days with the Spartans saw him searching for an identity on the team.

Billmayer moved Scruggs in and out of the lineup at times, trying to help him find a breakout moment.

Now, Scruggs has arrived at that point.

Billmayer said Scruggs got there thanks to his dedication.

“I am so proud of Lewis,” Billmayer said. “Lewis is a very intense, self-disciplined player. ... I remember, sophomore year, him being a little upset with himself. There were some times where we worked him out of the starting lineup. I think, for Lewis, it only fueled him to get better. He's quite a confident young man now.”

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