Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Entering the 2015 regular season, Myles Matthews was nowhere to be found on Jeff Sims 63-man roster. In fact, there was a time when the veteran head coach tried to find Matthews another opportunity elsewhere before the season started.
“I’ve always felt that Myles Matthews was a Division-I player,” Sims said. “Some schools were just scared off.”
The reason was simple in most schools’ mind: Matthews was diagnosed with a condition called Erb’s Palsy, which was the result of an injury suffered to the brachial plexus during birth (the network of nerves that delivers signals to the shoulder and arm). In fact, his right arm was underdeveloped compared to his left.
“I’ve always played with a chip on my shoulder because of it,” Matthews said. “I’ve always had to prove my doubters wrong.”
On Monday, Matthews took the next step, signing with Division-II powerhouse Colorado State University-Pueblo.
“It was a great fit academically and socially for me,” Matthews explained. “And I like how the coach there basically started from scratch.”
The ThunderWolves were brought back from the dead in 2008, thanks in large part to Head Coach John Wristen. Wristen turned a losing program into Division-II National Champions two years ago. With that, the ThunderWolves have posted double-digit victories each of the past five seasons.
And their best move yet might be adding Matthews, who, in just three games as a starter in Garden City (he replaced Darrell Songy-who left the program in the middle of the year), recorded 24 tackles, including 9.5 for loss. His 12-tackle performance in the Broncbusters upset of No.1 Butler, put the sophomore journeyman on the map.
Now Matthews, who waited three years for his opportunity to hit the field with Garden City, will once again set out to prove his critics wrong; prove that he does belong.