Matthew Shelton isn’t a very intimidating guy, six days a week. Sure he’s 6-foot-2 and 245-pounds, but he’s also quiet, polite, and respectful.
Except on Fridays. On Fridays, he’s the last person you want to see in front of you.
“He’s one of the quietest, most soft-spoken people I’ve ever met,” says head coach Bobby Klinck. “He just turns it on gameday. It’s pretty neat to see. It’s kind of like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The kid does everything right, but on Friday’s he just turns it on.”
The senior lineman is one of the secret weapons of the highly ranked Charles Page High School football team, and his work paves the way for skill-position players to put up big numbers.
But he’s not a lifelong football player. The senior star and second-year starter didn’t take to the gridiron until his freshman year, but despite the late start, football success is in his blood.
“My dad was All-State Oklahoma at Kiefer. He was a pretty good linebacker,” says Shelton. “I loved watching it as a kid growing up and all my friends played.” It wasn’t easy getting a late start, however, and his first year spent a lot of time learning the ins and outs of football that lifelong players already had a handle on.
Shelton hopes to see his football career extend past this season if he gets an offer he likes at a good school. He’s interested in engineering, particularly computer engineering.
As far as the rest of the season goes, his goals are simply to “Get better, have a great team, have a good brotherhood.”
“I think we’re doing pretty good this year,” says Shelton. “I’ve gotten a lot better since last year.”
The Sandites are 2-0 to start the year, having beaten Sapulpa and Bishop Kelley convincingly. Now they look forward to a road trip at Shiloh Christian (Arkansas).