STANDISH, Maine (BVM) — Zach Maturo is well known for his ability on the court and on the field. The two-sport standout has left a lasting legacy at his now former high school with his many athletic accomplishments.
Bonny Eagle head football coach and assistant basketball coach, Kevin Cooper, talked about some of the things that have made Maturo into a dominant dual-sport athlete.
“What I’ll remember most about Zach is he’s a terrific competitor,” Cooper said. “He hates to lose, he hates to give anything less than his best. On the field or on the court he is just the ultimate competitor and I think that’s why this year, whenever it was a crucial situation, we were putting the ball in his hands and letting him go do the things that would help us win a game.”
Maturo showcased his closing ability throughout his high school career. In the Scots’ Class A state championship football game against Thornton Academy, coach Cooper put the ball in Maturo’s hands late in the game and watched his decision pan out, as the Bonny Eagle star running back rushed for a game-sealing touchdown. He would finish his day with two touchdowns and 118 rushing yards.
Maturo’s ability as a two-sport athlete has created a unique career. The 5-foot-10 running back racked up 1,264 total yards and 23 touchdowns on the football field and over 1,000 career points on the basketball court for the Scots. His coach has seen players participate in both sports, but not quite at Maturo’s level.
“I think football and basketball certainly go hand in hand,” Cooper said. “I think there’s a lot of crossover in those two sports. This year we were trying to figure out if anybody has ever been a Fitzpatrick Trophy finalist (an award given to the top football player in the state) and a Maine Mr. Basketball finalist (an award given to the best basketball player in the state). Zach didn’t win either award but he was a top three finalist in both and I can’t remember any other athlete that can say that. Obviously, Zach has taken it to the next level as far as his excellence in both sports.”
MaxPreps recently recognized Maturo as Maine’s top male high school athlete. As gifted as a two-sport player as Maturo is, his true love has always been on the basketball court.
“He was basketball first all the way into school,” Cooper said. “I knew that as a football coach. I knew basketball was his first love. I think he saw that as a sport that he could excel in at the college level a little bit better, although, I had a lot of college coaches asking me, ‘Is there a chance that he’d play football?’ I think he would have been recruited in football too if he wanted to. He’s always been a basketball first guy but with that being said, when he puts on a football helmet he’s as much of a football player as anybody I’ve ever coached, he’s just kind of unique that way.”
The recent Bonny Eagle graduate will continue his playing career on the basketball court, when he attends the University of Maine at Farmington in the fall. Cooper is looking forward to seeing what Maturo can do at the next level.
“I think he’s going to have a great career,” Cooper said. “If they take advantage of Zach’s skills, they’ll find a way to be successful just because of his competitive nature, his drive, and his work ethic. I look forward to having a chance to be a fan over the next four years as I watch him play basketball.”