Matt Sargent tackles sports and academics
Junior Matthew Sargent fell in love with football and everything it represents before he could even run. His father played football at UC Davis, so Sargent developed an interest in the sport from a young age. He started throwing a football at around two years old, and now he’s leading the Mustangs this season as Varsity quarterback.
Sargent’s mother is a teacher and his father is a lawyer who recently began teaching. This contributed to his commitment and attitude towards academics; Sargent challenges himself as a student by taking four AP classes and maintaining a 4.0 unweighted GPA. In middle school, Sargent’s family moved to Maryland for his dad’s job.
“I think moving to Maryland made me a much better player, because the competition there was much higher, and there was a limited number of spots for teams there,” Sargent said. “It really pushed me to get better. It was the first time I ever had a quarterback coach, and that’s when I learned how to diagnose defenses and really focus on the craft of being a quarterback.”
Sargent has academic interests as well, taking a particular liking to his math class and the Mock Trial team. “I’m doing Mock Trial and my dad’s a lawyer, so I’m interested in that,” Sargent said. “I’ve been involved in this club since freshman year. We compete against other schools, so I like competition.”
Sargent said that if he gets the opportunity to play football in college, he will. However, he does not want to pursue collegiate sports at the cost of his grades.
“Matt is a great leader of the team,” junior Dante Dimare, one of Sargent’s teammates, said. “He’s the quarterback, which is the main position that gets everything going. Everyone on the team likes him, there’s not a single person on the team that doesn’t like Matt.”
According to Dimare, Sargent brings everyone together through the energy and leadership skills he brings to the team.
“Matt’s a captain during stretching lines,” Dimare said. “He usually calls out, ‘Let’s go! Bring it in team!’ He always says something that just hypes everyone up. Things like ‘Best team in MCAL right here! No one can stop us!’” Sargent has high hopes for this season and says that the team is working very well this year.
“Winning is a big goal, but also just getting better as a team,” Sargent said. “I love my team right now, the chemistry is amazing, and we all love playing with each other. If we just continue to work hard each week I think we can accomplish our goal, which is to ultimately have a deep run in the NCS playoffs and win the MCAL championship.”
Sargent credits his leadership skills to his team who are always supportive toward him and toward each other.
“I feel that my leadership ability is not because of me solely,” Sargent said. “I think that the guys respond well to it, and you don’t really lead from the front. In my opinion, you lead from the back. You always help other players up to where you are because you’re only as strong as your weakest link.”
Health teacher and one of the head football coaches Cory Boyd, has only positive words to say about Sargent.
“It’s not an easy job to be a starting quarterback for a football team, and I think Mathew handles all of the roles, from actually having to play the position well at practice and on the field and also having to make sure everyone is getting along and believing in each other in the locker room,” Boyd said. “I think he handles all of that really well. He understands what motivates different teammates and he’s just a really supportive, optimistic presence on our team.”