Updated: Dec 5, 2019
Conti and his yogi background help the Monarch football team in unique ways.
By Gene Wickham, Special to the Star
As one of the older members of the Monarch football team, 30-year-old Scott Conti brings a unique perspective to his mostly teenage teammates, from his passion for the gridiron and a background in yoga.
The NCAA has no age restrictions when it comes to playing college sports. Its main concern is academic standing and professional influences, opening opportunities for older students-athletes. Given this chance, Conti joined the Monarchs, but there was an adjustment period.
“The running was a lot,” he said. “The first time we did conditioning, I was close to throwing up, but I got through it.”
In his first year with the Monarchs, Conti is the team’s punter, at times shared those duties with teammate Howard Hobson, an Australian hailing from Perth, who is also on the field playing both offense and defense.
During this season’s first game, after Conti’s punt, he split open his thumb when he attempted to tackle an opposing player. The injury sidelined him for the second game, but he was back in form soon after.
The number of participants on the team this year is down and players need to help fill multiple positions to cover for injured teammates. Conti’s expertise centers on his punting ability, which he attributes to his experience with football in high school and yoga.
The certified yoga instructor teaches at Yoga NOHO Center and credits the practice for getting him in shape and focusing his mind.
Using his personal experience with Yoga, Conti has helped both coaches and players deal with the pressures related to the team and their unique problems.
During his junior year in high school, Conti, a multi-sport athlete, played on his school’s football team in Wellington, Florida. The summer before his senior year, he found his place on the team unsatisfactory and he withdrew.
“I wasn't in the first-string group,” he said. “I wasn't very happy about that. My mind was elsewhere.”
He went on to attend Florida’s Palm Beach State College where he earned an associate degree. After working as a bartender and writing a 120-page screenplay, Conti decided to move to California to promote his script and “try something different.”
After arriving in California in 2016, Conti became involved with yoga on a whim, which helped him lose 50 pounds and overcome problems like addiction and ADHD. He went on to earn his 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training certification and became an instructor.
Developing an interest in acting, Conti met David Roundtree through his acting studio in North Hollywood. Roundtree, who was earlier involved with regional football, became the new special team’s coach at Valley and invited him to tryout for the 2019 team. Conti made the squad. Roundtree, who now coaches the kicking and punting team, acknowledges Conti’s help with the players.
“I've seen him out on the field with players, teaching them yoga moves,” Roundtree said.
Conti has also helped him with the team’s kicker, Alec Messing, who has autism. Conti has helped Coach Roundtree with Messing’s training since both he and Messing joined the Monarchs this season.
Conti hopes to play for the Monarch baseball team in the spring and return to football next fall. He intends to continue his business studies and transfer to a university.