The Blazers football team has contributed countless hours of volunteer work, and helped boost the morale of Valdosta State through their continued dedication, and loyalty to the red and black.
Junior Middle Linebacker, Chas Matthews has contributed many hours to community involvement, where he volunteered for the Red Cross Blood Drive, Habitat for Humanity, and was a celebrity reader for elementary school children in Nevins Hall.
“My goal is to become more known in Valdosta, not only as a part of the Blazer family, but for my community involvement,” he said. “This is something that is very important to me and I have enjoyed every minute that I am able to give back to the town that I proudly call my home,” Matthews said.
Matthews was one of around 130 football players who devoted their time to the school-sponsored event, “Meet the Blazers,” on Saturday at the Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.
Autographs were signed and pictures were taken for adults and children interested in meeting the team.
“That was just a really neat event that everyone loved participating in,” Matthews said. “You remember as a kid how you idolized certain individuals and it’s an incredible feeling to be looked up to.”
Matthews said he has high hopes that the Blazers games will be sold out this season.
“It means a lot to us when we run out of the tunnel and hear our fans cheering us on,” Matthews said. “That, and for the love of the game, are the reasons we play football. It gives us the reassurance we need to do well.”
Between practices, meetings, workouts, classes, and homework, Matthews said that finding time for life on a daily basis is a matter of time management.
“You know, right now we’re getting ready for the start of the season against Wingate,” Matthews said. “It’s gonna be a tough season ahead, but the team’s ready. We’re wide open. None of us would give this experience up for anything.”
Among other hardships the Blazers have had to endure, including losing their starting quarterback at the beginning of the season due to a torn ACL in his right knee, Matthews said that the challenges facing this year have come from the mental, physical and emotional aspects of the game.
“Even though these areas are difficult in their own way, the training that goes along with them and the endurance we have had to sustain are what ultimately have made our team ready for any of our opponents this season,” Matthews said.
Matthews encouraged students to become more involved in their support of the Blazers. “We represent our school and we love that, we really enjoy the support of the people we play for.”
There will be a tailgating party before the season opener in Drexel Park on Saturday, from noon to 6 p.m.
Matthews gives time to community and football