Reigning state champs start female QB on senior night
PEWAUKEE, Wis. (BVM) – Ava Matz is still trying to take in her rise to national attention after the senior at Pewaukee High School started at quarterback for the football team.
“I mean it’s been really, honestly crazy,” Matz said. “I never thought it would go this far but my message is the same. I just want to keep on inspiring people.”
Matz has been playing football competitively since she was in eighth grade and has played for Pewaukee High School since she was a freshman. Matz was a part of the Pirates team that won the WIAA Division 3 State Championship last season, the first in school history. She has mostly played defense for Pewaukee but with homecoming and senior night approaching, head coach Justin Friske told Matz they wanted her to start the game.
She took the first snap and in the second quarter, finished out the game at quarterback. That included connecting with senior running back Matthew Ciesielczyk for a 10-yard touchdown pass. The Pirates won the game and then Matz became national news.
“My message reaching this far; I can’t even express it,” Matz said.
Matz has worked hard to get to this point. Ever since she was little, Matz loved football. At recess she would be out there playing football and once she reached fifth grade, she begged her mom to let her play. Finally, in eighth grade her mom gave her the go ahead to play football.
“It was only supposed to be eighth grade year and that was it,” Matz said. “Then my mom, my family, everybody just loved watching me play and I had so much support that going into freshman year, joining the football team wasn’t even a question.”
Along the way, Matz was inspired by other girls who were making inroads into football. She would see articles or news about girls kicking for their high school team and then around her sophomore year, she saw Sarah Fuller make history.
“She spread the message to me, so now I have to take that message and try to share it with others,” Matz said. “Even if it’s just one other person, that can make a world of difference.”
That message is to follow your dreams and keep working towards what you want to do. Matz dreamed of playing the sport she loved and in eighth grade, she got that opportunity. Then she earned a spot on varsity and even earned the chance to be the starting quarterback for the homecoming game.
“The goals are achievable,” Matz said. “You have to face your ups and downs through the course of it but it’s always worth it in the end.”