Marble Falls High School celebrated three senior student-athletes during a National Signing Day ceremony February 5.
Signing National Letters of Intent were softball player Jesse Stephenson with McMurry University, baseball player Sean Curtis with Paris Junior College, and soccer player Meghan Matcek with the University of Houston at Victoria, a Division I program.
UH-Victoria head coach Adrian Rigby offered Matcek a scholarship over the phone, and she committed on the spot.
“He kept it very brief when he called me,” she recalled. “He was excited.”
She had other offers and made other visits but felt most at home in Victoria, where she is expected to be a defensive midfielder, just like she was for the Lady Mustangs.
Marble Falls girls soccer coach Samara Weinstein said she knew immediately that Matcek was going to be a huge part of the Lady Mustangs’ success.
“I knew exactly who was going to be one of the leaders out there,” she said.
Matcek’s father, Clint, has kept statistics on his daughter from the time she began playing on an under-6 team. Her mother is Karen Matcek.
She has played in 363 games and scored 160 goals and had 90 assists since stepping on the pitch.
She quickly fell in love with soccer.
“It was something I could go do,” she said. “When I was six, I wanted to step away. I live and breathe it now. It’s the one thing that doesn’t change. I was so happy I didn’t (quit).”
She plans to major in psychology and pursue a career in criminal psychology.
Curtis said he liked the feel of the Paris baseball program and East Texas city, noting he wanted to go to college in a small town that reminded him of Marble Falls. He knows how hard it is to land a baseball scholarship due to the large number of talented high school players competing for them.
“Honestly, I’m super grateful,” he said. “There are a lot of people who don’t get the breaks I’ve gotten. I’ve worked, and I’ve been blessed.”
Curtis’ commitment to improvement is evident by the number of texts he sends coaches requesting access to the batting cages and other facilities, said Marble Falls baseball coach Tyler Porter.
“I wish I could have him a bit longer,” the coach said. “We’re extremely proud of him.”
The son of Mary and Bradley Curtis is undecided on a major but is leaning toward engineering because of his love of math.
Nothing says commitment quite like earning your own money and putting it toward your goals and dreams. That’s what Stephenson did as she juggled academics, athletics, and a job to pay for the gas and trips to play select softball for Pro Form Fastpitch. At Marble Falls, she also runs track and played volleyball.
Because of her speed, Stephenson will play in the outfield for the Abilene college team, she said.
Marble Falls softball coach Tim Richter recalled the first time he evaluated Stephenson as a freshman in a drill during which players were asked to run to first base and second base and then slide into third. Stephenson slid into second.
“Those are attributes you can’t coach,” he said. “Anything you asked her to do, she did. You get athletes who are truly special, and that’s what Jesse is.”
Though Stephenson didn’t remember the incident, she said she understood what Richter meant.
“If you don’t put in the extra work, it’s not going to pay off,” she said.
Richter noted she received the equivalent of a full scholarship because of her work in the classroom. Stephenson is a straight-A student.
The daughter of Teri and Troy Stephenson will major in kinesiology.