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Football: Slott family enjoys special moment on senior night
Joe Slott
From left, father Dan Slott, son Joe Slott, mother Martha Slott, and son Max Slott are honored on the field Friday before South Forsyth's 21-14 win against Forsyth Central. - photo by David Roberts

Joe is the final Slott brother to trickle through the South Forsyth football program.

Before him came Max, and prior to that, Sam was the first Slott brother to hear his name echo across War Eagle Stadium on Friday nights. 

But last week signaled the end of an era, as Joe, South's senior QB and the youngest of three brothers, took what is likely his final home snap for the War Eagles.

"I’ve been watching South Forsyth football for about 12 years now, with both of my brothers, and I’ve always dreamed of playing on this field on Friday nights," Joe said after Friday night's 21-14 win against Forsyth Central. "It was big for me — both for that, (and) getting a lot of playing time and having fun with all of my friends."

The Slott family relocated from Indiana to Forsyth County in 2002. They enmeshed themselves into the community the same way Hoosiers do back home: Football.

"Through your work, you go different places," said Dan Slott, Joe's father. "But one thing that brings you into the community is this game of football."

Dan and his wife, Martha Slott, moved their family into a neighborhood near Sharon Springs Park, which is where the three brothers began playing football, as many around the county do.

They honed their skills at that park through youth football, playing against the future county stars of Friday night football.

"Every game I played against a county team, I was always playing against somebody I played rec ball with," remembered Max, who is currently a redshirt sophomore at Mercer. "Every game I'd just go up to them and go, 'Hey, what's up?'"

Ten years later, the eldest brother, Sam, cracked South's varsity roster as a sophomore who played defensive back and wide receiver. 

Max was a hard-hitting, tackling machine for South, and Joe currently engineers the War Eagles' high-flying offense.

The three brothers have combined to reach the playoffs five times, and Joe will make it six later this month regardless of what happens this week between South and West Forsyth.

Max was part of the 2015 South Forsyth team that won 11 games and reached the quarterfinals, one of the most successful teams in school history. 

He even shared the field with his older brother the year before when Sam was a senior and Max was a sophomore.

Joe Slott
Joe Slott, left, shares a moment with his brother, Max Slott, on Friday before South Forsyth's 21-14 win against Forsyth Central. - photo by David Roberts
"It's really surreal, you know. You watch him from pee-wee all the way to this," Max said of Joe. "You're at this moment and it feels like everything was super-simmed on Madden. It just gets to this point, and you're like, 'Wow, I've been watching him for so long.' With my older brother, it's like you want to be with them so much and you want to play up with them. We actually got to take a few snaps together, which was great. I'm just so proud of Joe. He's a fighter, he perseveres and he works really, really hard. He's a cool customer."

They've also navigated around a couple of school openings — Lambert in 2009 and Denmark in 2018. In fact, the neighborhood where they live now is zoned for Denmark, but Dan said they decided to keep Joe at South to carry the tradition. 

And the War Eagles have hardly fallen off despite losing players to other schools, winning 32 games from 2015-18.

"When we had come in initially, they had just had Lambert built. We came in right after that," said Martha, who served on the South Forsyth Touchdown Club board for seven years. "So there's recovery. Then, when this happened with Denmark, we've just recovered — the program, the coaches and the student body; everybody has just bounced back and is really resilient. They see the positives in supporting the program. I feel like the program's bigger and better than it's ever been."

Another constant for the three brothers is South Forsyth head coach Jeff Arnette, who has been at the school since 2010.

"I’ve coached all three of their kids — the middle one is still there at Mercer playing ball — and that whole family’s meant a lot to this program. You’re welcome to write that in, because it’s true," Arnette said. "They’ve been here pretty much every year I have, except for the first two, and I’ve just enjoyed their kids. Their kids are great." 

Joe left his mark on the program this season at quarterback, completing 102 of 176 passes for 1,508 yards, 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for the War Eagles.

His best game came a couple of weeks ago when he completed 15 of 27 passes for 325 yards and five touchdowns with one pick.

"He’s had his ups and downs, but he always seems to come through when we have to," Arnette said. "Heck, last week he threw for five touchdown passes and (Friday) he had some turnovers, but that’s life at quarterback at this day and time of football. But he’s done a heck of a job for us this year."