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Jarrett Mattingly likes to specify how to spell his first name because “most people have a hard time with it.”
Count fellow senior Brent Young in that group.
“I didn’t know that’s how you spelled it,” Young said.
Mattingly, who starts on the offensive and defensive lines, started playing football when he was in sixth grade because that’s what his family has always been into.
“My dad (Bo Mattingly) played football in high school,” Mattingly said. “Football was always it. It’s what we always watched.”
And he was hooked from the beginning, saying it was “the most fun sport” he’d ever tried.
The aspect he likes the most about it is the satisfied feeling he gets after a hard-earned victory.
“It takes a lot of hard work, football does, and it’s rewarding when you win,” Mattingly said.
Mattingly never tried another sport in high school because nothing else just ever caught his interest.
Plus, he wanted to put his entire focus and exert all of his energy on football.
And Head Coach Eric Sagrecy has taken notice.
“He’s just one of those kids every good team has to have, guys like him,” Sagrey said. “He’s the same in practice as he is in the games, never changes speeds. He practices as hard as he plays. That’s why he’s been able to earn a starting spot on both sides of the ball.”
Sagrecy feels that Mattingly’s greatest asset is knowing what his strengths are and knowing what his weaknesses are.
“He does a great job of using the skills he has and concentrating on improving those skills each year,” Sagrecy said. “He focuses on the things he can do rather than what he can’t do. I think that’s why he’s been such an asset for us the last four years.”
All of Mattingly’s hard work paid off when he notched his first start last season in a game against Bethlehem, a contest in which he also recorded his first tackle.
The Bethlehem quarterback threw a pass across the middle, and Mattingly, who was playing linebacker at the time, read it and met the receiver for his “welcome to varsity football” experience.
“I was really nervous going into the game, but it was fun to know that you finally got there,” Mattingly said.
But that feeling quickly vanished as the WC Commanders lost their first six games of the season.
To Mattingly, though, that made it all the sweeter when he finally got his first victory as a starter, a 41-6 shellacking of Fort Knox.
“It was just good to finally get one. We really needed it,” Mattingly said. “We were all depressed not being able to get that first win. We wanted it really, really bad.”
And, for Mattingly, that’s what it’s all about: winning.
“I just want to win,” Mattingly said. “That’s all I want.”
Mattingly said that the one thing he will miss about his time as a Commander more than anything else is the team unity that is involved in a football squad.
“I’m gonna miss just having a bond with people my age and being able to work with them towards a goal,” Mattingly said. “It’s just overall a fun experience of playing.”
And the Commanders will miss having Mattingly as well, according to Sagrecy.
“He’s one of those guys that does all the dirty work,” Sagrecy said. “People look at the guys who score all the touchdowns and do all that stuff, but it’s equally as hard to replace a guy who gives full effort every single play.”
As for his post-graduation plans, Mattingly is unsure on what he will be doing. He knows he would like to go to a technical school, but he hasn’t decided which one. And he is looking into industrial maintenance, but he isn’t for just yet.
Wherever he goes and whatever he does, though, he’ll make sure they know his name.