Now Starring: Guy Matisis '09
Senior Guy Matisis is the
lone captain for the 2008
Amherst College Football Team.
By Alex Kantor, Sports Information Director
For someone who shines so brightly on the field, Amherst College senior captain Guy Matisis hates the spotlight. As a high school student in Hingham, Massachusetts, it did not take long for Matisis to make his mark on both the football field and wrestling program, and he has been a star ever since.
During his sophomore year of high school, Matisis was a member of a 1-10 football team that lost four games by less than a touchdown, and six by less than 10 points. The experience of coming up short on so many occasions could push some athletes to the brink of walking away from the game, but it only motivated Matisis towards greatness.
Matisis made a splash on the football field during the 2001 season, alongside classmates Mike Quinn and John Murphy, as part of a freshman team that won a league championship. The three Harbormen made the jump to varsity in 2002 and were immediately thrown into the lineup as underclassmen. Head coach Paul Killinger described that one-win season as a valuable learned experience for the players who would eventually turn around the Hingham program.
The following season, Matisis played both offense and defense for the Harbormen, as they took the Patriot League by storm en route to a 10-1 season. During his senior campaign, Matisis helped lead Hingham to another 10-1 regular season, before ultimately falling in the Super Bowl to Bishop Feehan.
On the wrestling mat, Matisis was a standout in both the 189 and 215-pound weight classes from day one. He won three consecutive Division 3 South Sectional championships as an individual during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. During his senior season, Matisis compiled a 47-4 record en route to a Massachusetts All-State Championship to close out his career.
As a State Champion wrestler, and football player credited with helping turn a program from a perennial loser to a fixture atop the league standings, no one would blame Matisis for being a cocky and vocal leader. But that just wouldn’t be his style, either on or off, the field.
Captain Guy Matisis (#45) will look to lead a strong
core of linebackers for the Amherst defense in '08.
Amherst head coach E.J. Mills explains that Matisis is “a quiet kid, but that he says what needs to be said.” Adding that “Guy is really everything you want in a player, in and out of the season.”
Mills adds that “in this day and age, people tend not have a problem talking about themselves at great lengths. As a leader, Guy is really a very refreshing captain. He is all about action, and leading by example.” Mills, entering his 12th season at Amherst, explains that Matisis has an “unbelievable motor on the field, and he puts people in awe, making everyone around him better.”
Matisis plays outside linebacker for the Lord Jeffs, and is a third-year starter. Akeem Cedeno, his positional coach, shares that “Guy is an amazing person, who genuinely wants to do the right thing. That’s what makes him a great leader for us. He leads by example and is a phenomenal player to have on the team.”
On the field, both Mills and Cedeno have high hopes for Matisis and the Lord Jeff defensive unit this season. Cedeno explains that Matisis “is an explosive player who will be key to our defensive scheme in 2008.”
Mills also shares that “Guy is a big part of what we are trying to do defensively this season. He raises the intensity level, and is as athletic of a pass-rusher as we will see. The NESCAC coaches voted him a First-Team All-Conference player last season, and we expect more of the same from him this year.”
If Matisis gets near his numbers from 2007, when he was 7th in the conference in each sacks and tackles-for-loss, then he will be a shoe-in for post-season honors once again. Last season, Matisis finished in a three-way tie for the team lead in solo tackles with 32, while also recording 23 assists. He led the team in both sacks (4.0) and tackles for loss (9.5), and finished with a forced fumble, a blocked kick, and a safety.
Looking forward to his senior season as it gets under way this afternoon against Hamilton, Matisis sees four games on the 2008 slate that have him especially excited to strap on his pads. After losses against Middlebury, Tufts, Trinity and Williams last season, Matisis marked his calendar for those re-matches this season.
With his eyes focused on avenging last season’s losses in 2008, Matisis explains that “the coaches worked us hard this off-season, and we really came together as a team because of that.”
After just a few minutes of asking Matisis about his personal goals for the season, and receiving answers about the team’s goals, it becomes very clear that he is about the team above all else. With three consecutive loses to finish last season at 4-4, Amherst is hoping that Matisis can once again steer a program towards greatness before he moves on to quietly star somewhere else.