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The Paw Print

The Paw Print

Athlete of the Issue: Everson Mathis



The crowd buzzes as junior Everson Mathis calls “hike!” A comeback is in the air. He calmly receives the snap and routinely drops back in the pocket, surveying his options downfield. As the blitzing Francis Parker defense closes in, he makes a last second decision to run the ball, splitting through the defense with the elegance of a ballerina and pure ferocity of a snarling panther. Turf pellets fly from his cleats in great clouds as he trots his way into the end zone for his second rushing touchdown of the quarter, slicing away at the once 0-20 deficit.

As a junior, Mathis is putting together a phenomenal season at starting quarterback, proving to be a leader on and off the field and guiding the Panthers to success following a disappointing 2022 season.

The football team, which won just one game last season, already has a greatly improved record of four wins and one loss, and they’re just getting started. Sophomore Alex Chui attributes the team’s success to Mathis’s sense of camaraderie and creation of an overall supportive environment. Chui said, “with each teammate fully trusting the player next to them, playing the game becomes much easier because one can focus on their own job rather than worrying about if their teammates will pull their own part.”

This team’s synergy and growth mindset wouldn’t be achievable without a great leader, and Mathis fulfills that role perfectly.

Mathis’s patience also makes him a standout star. At Poly, he works with a wide variety of players, from high caliber receivers to first-year football players. Nevertheless, he treats everyone with the same amount of respect, supporting his teammates unconditionally while simultaneously helping them improve. In return, he earns his teammates admiration and eagerness to follow him through the season.

“Everson acts as a cool-headed leader, always coaching up the underclassmen while also being a great example for the upperclassmen. As the starting quarterback, Everson sacrifices his own body before throwing a dangerous pass to a receiver, displaying true selflessness and leadership on the field,” Chui said.

It’s this elite level of play and leadership that he used to lead the Panthers to a nail-biting 30-27 comeback victory over rival Francis Parker on Saturday, Sept. 8.

Mathis’s work on the field is truly impressive, averaging 290 yards per game and racking up 1,159 yards and nine touchdowns in total this season, which places him at the top of the quarterback rankings in all of San Gabriel Valley thus far.

As for Mathis’s future on the field, many of his teammates are optimistic. Quick to praise his leadership on and off the field, and elite skillset, they believe he has a promising journey ahead of him.

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About the Contributor
Oliver Marks, Assistant Sports Editor
Grade: 10 Years on Staff: 2 Fun Fact: I love to cook! Favorite Movie: The Banshees of Inisherind
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