Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Journey Begins! 8/2/12

Wow! I sit here so excited that the time between the spring game and fall camp is over and the season is right in our grasps. On the other hand, why have the years that Matt has been at La Tech gone by so fast? Really, only one more season. Please don't say it is so! I need another bowl game! I really cannot wait for camp to start and I am so excited for Matt and the entire football team. It is going to be an exciting upcoming season. We have some great OOC games this year and we should own the WAC. The games I am looking forward to the most is our opener against
Texas A&M, U of H and the Virginia game. While Illinois will be a tough challenge I feel like those 3 games will set the tone for really how good this team is going to be. The team reports today and hits the field tomorrow. Saying that Matt is anxious for this journey to get started is an understatement. He is like a kid in the candy store bouncing all over the place. He has worked so hard this off season. The field and the weight room has been his home away from home. He has spent 3 to 5 days a week in the weight room since the spring game, runs way too many miles and he kicks 3 to 4 days a week with Josh Cuthbert & David Gru. David will be Matt's 4th holder in 4 years and I feel like all of their hard work over the summer will pay off. All 3 of those guys have to be in perfect harmony. Matt knows the tremendous potential that this team has as well as he does personally.
This team has a chance for national recognition along with several of the players. I truly believe that La Tech has not only the best specialist duo in the WAC but one of the best in the nation. We will score a lot of touchdowns and Matt & Ryan will be called upon when those times don't happen. They both will have opportunities to be game changers and I look forward to watching them excel at their craft. Matt said the seniors have really come together as a team and have taken a leadership role on and off the field. They are focused and have the mindset that they can beat anyone that they play. We have 28 days until kickoff and it cannot get here soon enough. I am so ready for this ride and I hope Wal-Mart has enough drawers for me this year.
Since this is blog #1 for the 2012 season I would like to reflect on some of the things that Matt has been involved with and accomplished this spring and summer. First of all I must say that this young man amazes me everyday and I am so proud of him. His desire, focus, mental toughness, physical ability and his continued climb towards his goals leave me speechless. I am also thankful that he got all of those genes from his mom. Once the spring Game was over Matt went back to work on the weekends at Squire Creek. His 2nd love is golf and he is still working on his game. Matt loves interacting with people and this gives him a way to do that. In May Matt planned a river trip to float the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels.
I think there were about 12 of them who went including his girlfriend Kasie Onken, Kendall Guillot, Vince Cano, Zack Voss, Tyler Nelson (brother), Colton Carley and his great friend Jake Trevino. The cool thing was that Matt proposed to Kasie on the river in front of friends, teammates and his brother. We knew it was going to happen and could not wait for the phone call. Kasie, welcome to the family! Wow! I am getting old! Matt and a few of the players attended the Hico Elementary 2012 picnic. Ms. Toni set everything up so the kids could have a very special day. They played softball, ate with the kids and signed autographs. There are so many things that these young men do in the community that go unrecognized.
I wish La Tech would promote/acknowledge some of these activities that these young men participate in. These guys are not just athletes and La Tech is blessed it has the student athletes that we have. They give so much back to the community. During the summer he worked an internship at Merrill Lynch in Monroe. He was very blessed with the opportunity. He is very intrigued with finances and he said this was going to be exciting. Matt went to Baltimore in June for a couple of days to help Matt Stover with his kicking camp. He loves helping kids who have a desire to become a specialist and he had a blast hanging out with Matt. Over July 4th weekend Janet & I got to go spend some time with Matt. He had just moved into a new house with RP Stuart, Ryan Allen and Ray Holley. We stayed there for a couple of days and got to spend some time with Ray as the other guys went out of town.
Ray Holley is such an amazing person and is very excited to get the season started. I loved sharing the hottest grilled jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon with him. We all shed a few good tears! One of the days we were in Ruston we went with Matt to the field while he kicked. Josh Scobee had planned on working out during the same time. It was so awesome to get to shag balls for Matt & Josh. Watching these two elite athletes kick and go through their routine just blew me away. It is something I will not forget for a long time. Matt was selected to the College Performance Awards watch list again this year along with the Phil Steele pre-season First Team All Wac. These are cool mentions, but winning as a team and performing on the field is all Matt is about. If your play on the field leads to those things then all of your hard work has paid off.
Ok, I cannot wait anymore but the thing I am most proud of is that Matt will be graduating August 16th with his finance degree and a 3.5 GPA. Are you kidding me? A finance degree in 3 years while playing football! On top of that he has concurrently been taking grad classes and should graduate with his MBA in the spring. August 16th will be an awesome day for our family. Not only will Matt be graduating, but Kasie will be graduating with her degree in Biology. There will be a little time for a celebration that night as the team will have practice in full pads that morning. Then it will be back to the task at hand. Wow! I am out of breath. I cannot keep up with Matt's pace and I am not sure how he does. I am already sweating and out of breath! I hope this gives you a little insight to what Matt has been doing this spring and summer. I am sure I have left out several things, but now that I am 50 I am granted a few memory issues. HaHa!
I know he is ready for fall camp to start and I am ready for the kickoff against Texas A&M on August 30th. We are very proud of Matt and his accomplishments. I feel good about this year's team. I am ready for the tailgating to begin and can't wait for the season to start. I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer and I look forward to seeing everyone at the games. I want to say Happy Birthday to Tyrone on 07/31/12. You are missed! RIP #22. I am very saddened by the loss of Tech XX. As a dog lover I am very upset that something like this can happen. RIP Tech XX. On a happy note I would like to wish Dan "The Man" Matthiesen the best of luck at Georgia State.
You were awesome at what you did and will be missed! I also want to give my oldest son Tyler a shout out for landing a job with AT&T in Austin as a level 2 commercial WiFi specialist. I hope he can make a couple of Matt's games this season. My next blog will be after camp, but before the opening kickoff. I will continue through the season with my thoughts after each game. I appreciate those who are following my journey. It is such a blast and honor to follow Matt Nelson through his eyes and the Bulldog team. I write from the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are at that moment and sometimes I get a little carried away.
I am very passionate about La Tech football. I am just a College Football Fan and I love college football. Until our paths cross again have a blessed summer. College Football Dad!