On the Ball Magazine

 

Matthew Maynard Is a Kid’s Dream Come True

By Weslea Bell

 

Football Coach Bobby Brown describes up-and-coming sophomore player Matthew Maynard in two simple words, “football savvy.” After twelve years of dedication to the sport, enthusiasm about Maynard’s potential should come as no surprise. His natural talent has been a work in progress since before he could spell pigskin.

Too little to wear a helmet, Maynard was committed to football as a four-year-old. Watching professional games and practicing plays with his dad and twin brother Jacob in the backyard was more than a phase. His passion for football continued through the elementary and middle school years until he attracted positive attention at Walter J. Baird’s eighth grade spring training camp.

Lebanon High School head football coach Bobby Brown spotted Maynard’s potential and looked forward to the day Maynard would graduate to the high school team. As quarterback for the Devils’ freshmen squad Maynard exceeded Coach Brown’s expectations, leading the Blue Devils through last year’s undefeated season.

Coach Brown says one of the most important skills a player can bring to the field is a willingness to work hard and stay focused. Maynard’s flexibility for playing multiple positions combined with his cooperative attitude toward coaches and fellow teammates almost guarantee success. Another key to a successful football career is parental involvement, and the Maynard’s have always done their part to help Matthew succeed. “Matthew’s parents are very supportive. They push him hard,” Brown explains.

Coach Brown expects all his players to be cooperative and maintain a respectful attitude and positive outlook while they’re on the field. Maynard’s winning personality endears him to his teachers and peers and is equally matched with natural talent and ability to play the game. “We can put Matthew in several positions on the field,” Brown points out. “He’s an extremely hard worker. We’ve played him in offence and defense, and he’s always performed well.”

            A football scholarship is definitely on Matthew Maynard’s mind as he starts thinking about college and career plans. Three of Maynard’s four academic instructors are also athletic coaches. Coach Bozman, assistant to Head Coach Bobby Brown, teaches French and says Maynard is a diligent student willing to follow directions and put forth effort to get the job done on the field and in the classroom. Maynard’s quick mental responses and ability to focus gives him the winning edge.

            Maynard is a sophomore and still has plenty of time to make final decisions about a future career. He realizes that the skills he’s learning on the football field will have a direct impact on life after high school. “When I’m out there (on the field), I have to stay focused,” Maynard explains. “If I can stay focused in all that activity, I can stay focused in life.”

            Coach Bobby Brown wants the best for his players, and his desires for their success are evident to the team. Maynard says he knows Coach Brown wants him to have “a good life.” For now, Maynard’s idea of the good life includes balancing hours of practice and schoolwork with his love for hunting on his grandfather’s farm. He also excels at other sports, including soccer and basketball. Matthew’s softball team, sponsored by Dillon Cabinet and coached by Bernie Funke, won the World Series in Cherokee, NC in 2004. Sweet success is nothing new to the Matthew Maynard, and his future with the Blue Devils promises nothing less than a completed record of outstanding athletic talent.