The season is finally here and with the day time sun and night time showers, come the pad popping, helmet clacking and trash talking of the football season. No position does it better than the guys in the middle of defense tasked to tracked down ball carriers every snap from any location on the field. The linebackers get the privilege to come down hill on ball carriers more than any other defensive position. Many times without obstacle and nothing but space and opportunity.
Gaither backer Matthew Wood isn’t flashy. Just a player! If you like to see the position played the right way 90% of the time, track Matt Wood throughout the season. A veteran missile in the middle of an improving Gaither defense under the new leadership of Kirk Karsen in his first year as a head football coach.
We love so much about Matt Wood starting with his read/reaction. On film, he always seems to know where the ball will end up. Which tells us he is reading his keys prior to and during the snap of the ball which takes him to the football.
“Team captain. Hardest worker on the team. Goes to Vast Training 3 days a week after our practices.” – Kirk Karsen, Gaither head football coach
Under evaluated is the ability for defenders to play with strength and shed blockers and get to the ball. We call this “Point Strength” and Wood is pretty good at it. He is an outstanding tackler. Hip flexibility, quickness, foot base, knee bend, concentration, reaction, etc. all are components to being a great tackler especially in the open field versus the offense’s most elusive players.
Matthew is currently committed to continue his athletic career at Holy Cross. Lucky for them, he’s a steal at the position and will be a career contributor of the program. Use the video below and track Matt throughout the season as his film will be updated weekly.