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All-State Mission footballer signs with University of Montana Western

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ST. IGNATIUS – Mission senior Raymond Matt is one multi-talented young man. As the senior class and student body president, reigning homecoming king, honor roll student and athlete, Matt has achieved a pretty decorated resume already at the young age of 18. Now he can add one more star to the list as he has just signed his golden ticket to play football for the Bulldogs at the University of Montana Western in Dillon.

Though Matt has competed at the varsity level in a plethora of sports including cross-country, track, basketball — and has even swung a bat for the Mission Valley Mariners — on the football field is where he has found his calling.

“Football just kind of stuck out for me,” Matt said. “It started in middle school and I found out I was pretty good so I just sort of focused on football.”

According to the University of Montana Western website, Bulldog Coach B.J. Robertson said “Raymond brings athleticism and a passion for the game that is infectious.”

Matt has been the “go to guy” for Mission football Head Coach Rich Ferris and he believes Matt possesses certain qualities that will take him far.

Whether it be organizing off season practices, putting in extra time in the weight room or simply being the positive voice of reason for the younger kids, Ferris said Matt’s work ethic and leadership skills are something to be admired.

“He’s able to set goals and he works hard to achieve those goals,” Ferris said. “I think that’s one of the main things that make him an outstanding football player.”

For Matt, it’s all about family. With a support system of two nurturing parents, Peter and Janelle Matt, six siblings, including his younger brother Beedo who has shared both the football field and basketball court with him, and his grandmother – his number one fan — Matt has taken everything he has learned at home and has taken every word and applied it to his own maturity, both on and off the field.

“I couldn’t imagine myself without them,” Matt said about his family. “My parents have come to every game; they have never missed a game. My grandma and my brothers and sisters – yeah, they’re awesome.” 

Ferris has great appreciation for the Matt family.

“One day he’s going to have his own family. He’s going to be a father and he’s going to set up his own kids to have success the same way he has been able to find success,” Ferris said. “That has a lot to do with the upbringing that he has had. His mom and dad are great people and it’s not an accident that Ray is such a great kid.”

For now, Matt is just trying to enjoy his last ride as a high school student and will finish up his varsity career on the track field.

Matt will be trading in his status as a Mission Bulldog to a University of Montana Western Bulldog while studying his general education the first year of his college hop, but not before he heads to the Montana State Shrine football game July 18 in Great Falls. 

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