High Five: Matthews takes full advantage of sports opportunities

Published 11:54 am Friday, April 28, 2023

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Chocowinity native Gabe Matthews has played at least one sport every season since he started at Southside High School four years ago. The senior scored 28 goals and had 23 assists for the 17-5 soccer team, was a guard on the basketball team and has won several individual tournament titles this spring as part of the golf team. This fall, he kicked for the football team and has been part of the 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 track relay teams until this spring. He also works part-time at Cypress Landing golf club and has his own pet sitting business.

  1. Which sport or sports did you play first?

Gabe: I started soccer and golf about the same time. My dad put a golf club in my hand as soon as I could hold it and I played in the Washington Optimist Youth Soccer League when I got old enough.

  1. What do you like the most about each?

Gabe: My family lives in Cypress Landing so I’ve been playing that course as long as I can remember. I really enjoying playing pretty much anytime, from morning until sunset sometimes. It’s fun being outside and working on different parts of my game. My friend Rob Bergevin (WHS golfer and Appalachian St. signee) has encouraged me to take golf more seriously and how to work on my game the past two years. He’s taught me a lot and I appreciate his help.

The most fun parts of soccer are being successful with my teammates and friends and scoring goals. It’s a cool feeling when you put one in the back of the net. Winning in a team sport is also really fun. We had a good year this fall and it was fun to contribute.

  1. How did kicking for the football team come about?

Gabe: My brother Luke, who is a senior at ECU, kicked when he was at Southside and Coach Carrow asked me if I was interested. It turned out to be really fun and I’m glad I did it.

  1. What are your career highlights so far?

Gabe: Hopefully a strong finish at the state golf tournament in a few weeks will be one of them, but so far, making a putt on an extra playoff hole to win the conference championship last year would be it. Also, kicking the field goal to put us ahead at Northside when we won the Anchor Bowl is right up there. We hadn’t won it since I’ve been at Southside, so it felt tremendous to step up at nail it to give us the lead.

Scoring two goals against East Carteret to help us win the conference title my junior year, then winning again this fall would be my soccer highlights.

  1. What are your plans after graduation?

Gabe: I’ve been accepted to ECU to major in Business Management. I’d also like to play club golf there. I’m not sure yet what I’d like to do with my degree, maybe own my own business someday.