Scholar Athlete: Matthew Saylor, Jay High School

Photo source: Darrin McAllister

In the small town of Jay, the name Matthew Saylor is one many know.

Saylor sets the bar on the field and in the classroom. He has a 3.861 weighted GPA and is taking a handful of college level classes.

"I just felt like if I challenged myself now, I wouldn't skip a beat when it came to college," Saylor said.

His coach, Melvin Kersey, is also his history teacher. Kersey describes Saylor as the student always looking to learn.

"He's the kind of kid that's very inquisitive. He's gonna ask you that question that makes you say, 'You know, he's gotta point there. We need to look that up. We need to get past the text book and we need to find out what he's saying here,'" Kersey said.

And it happens on the field too.

"[I play] kicker, punter, linebacker, full back, whatever he needs me to do, I'll do it," Saylor said.

"He rarely comes off the football field, rarely comes off the football field. He's a tough kid," Kersey said.

Matthew volunteers with the Jay Junior League Football camp and umpires for Jay Little League. He told Channel Three's Jackalyn Kovac those opportunities bring about a little nostalgia.

"I didn't really play football when I was little but I played baseball. I played baseball year-round. When I go to little league games and I umpire, it just reminds me of all the times I got up there and I hit a base hit or I struck out. It's unreal how far I've made it this far," said Saylor.

Saylor is very humble about his achievements on the field.

"I don't really see myself as a leader. I see myself as a peer to all of them," Saylor said.

Coach Kersey isn't afraid to let him know what he is to the team.

"He's kinda like the grease that makes the wheel turn. He gets everybody lined up correctly, gets the calls in, he's kinda the field general for us, especially defensively," Kersey said.

The well-rounded senior is working hard to pass on his humility to the kids he mentors.

"Just try to be humble because it can be taken away from you at any moment; any time," Saylor said.

Saylor plans to attend University of West Florida and pursue electrical engineering.

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