Weekly Feature



2017-11-23 / Sports

West Seneca West’s Myers named Player of the Year

by TAYLOR NIGRELLI
Reporter


West Seneca West quarterback Matt Myers scrambles for positive yardage in the Indians Far West Regional Win over Wilson-Magnet. Myers was voted the All-Bee Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for more than 2,000 yards and rushing for nearly 1,000 while leading West to the Class A state title game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse Friday. 
Photo by Jason NadolinskiPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com West Seneca West quarterback Matt Myers scrambles for positive yardage in the Indians Far West Regional Win over Wilson-Magnet. Myers was voted the All-Bee Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for more than 2,000 yards and rushing for nearly 1,000 while leading West to the Class A state title game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse Friday. Photo by Jason NadolinskiPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com It’s been a whirlwind five months for West Seneca West quarterback Matt Myers.

As late as June, he was under the impression he’d be returning to Bishop Timon for his senior season. Now, as Thanksgiving approaches, he’s preparing to lead the Indians into the Class A state championship game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. This is likely a big part of the reason why local coaches voted him the 2017 All-Bee Football Offensive Player of the Year.

Myers was a two-year starter at Timon, but a major shakeup in leadership at the school caused head coach Charlie Comerford to resign in June. This threw the football team into disarray, as it wasn’t clear they would be able to field a team. With just two months left before practice was to begin and already having committed to play at the University at Buffalo in 2018, Myers had a decision to make. He opted to return to West Seneca West, where he had played modified and JV.

“As soon as I heard about Charlie Comerford resigning, I was devastated,” Myers said. “I just didn’t know what my future held at Timon or whatever school I was going to go to. I just decided that going to West would be the best situation for me. Who would have thought this would have happened? Undefeated, about to play in the state championship. It’s the team that I played with when I was younger and transferred away from. I came back and it’s been a storybook season.”

The coaching staff at West knew exactly what they were getting with Myers. He had led the modified team to an undefeated season in 2013, and started on JV in 2014.

The familiarity allowed for a fast start for Myers and West. The team defeated Amherst 54-6 in week one as Myers accumulated more than 300 yards of total offense. He never looked back, leading the team to an undefeated regular season and the program’s first-ever Section VI and Far West Regional titles, and first state semifinal win as well.

“Our entire staff is familiar with him and his skill set,” West Seneca West coach Mike Vastola said. “He picked up right where he left off. There were some things that we were doing when he was a freshman that he picked right back up. Then there were other things that had evolved that he hadn’t done. There was an adjustment period for about a month. Then he started to pick things up and did what we wanted. It was a learning process, but now he’s fully-functioning the way we envisioned when he came out.”

Myers was consistently excellent throughout the season. He was 131-of-226 for 2,205 yards. He threw an incredible 24 touch downs and two interceptions. He also ran for 22 scores and 958 yards. His dual-threat excellence made him a nightmare for opposing defenses.

“We can hurt you in so many different ways,” Vasto- la said. “If you take away Matt as a runner, you open up the passing game. The ability he has in our system to check things that are given to him allows him to use his skill set as a runner and thrower. We have a unique offense and it suits him perfectly. As a former quarterback, I told him this is the offense I would want to run.”

Unsurprisingly, the team’s offense has had very little trouble putting up points. Aside from a 27-18 win over South Park in the sectional final, the team has scored at least 35 in every game.

“The first time we practiced, we were looking around and realized that we had a lot of really good football players,” Myers said. “We had a lot of weapons on the offensive side. We knew we were going to be a tough offense to stop. I think the first game, I believe we put up 50 points and it was like ‘let’s keep going.’ It’s going to be tough to stop us.”

But it wasn’t just production that set Myers apart. His leadership was key, as well. He endeared himself to his teammates with his selflessness. A good example occurred during a game early this season when he got hit hard and lost his helmet, meaning he had to sit out for one play.

Sophomore backup Liam Scheuer went in, presumably for just one play. But Myers insisted he finish the drive, which allowed Scheuer to score his first touchdown.

“He’s an unselfish, team-first guy,” Vastola said. “He likes other guys to do well. If you call his number, he’s ready to go.”

In a way, this season has been the unexpected finale of a journey that started on that modified team four years ago. After that season, the coaches gave the players shirts with a picture of New Era Field on them, a reminder they could end up playing for a title there if they stayed the course. It took four years and two transfers, but the team fulfilled that destiny this season.

“We told them if they stick together, that could be their future,” Vastola said. “They realized it, and I’m so happy the senior class was able to live out that dream.”

Myers will play only one more game for West Seneca West before he trades his uniform for another shade of blue. Regardless of how the contest turns out, he’s earned his place in West Seneca West history as the driving force behind the best season the program has ever had.

“He’s a natural leader,” Vas- tola said. “He demands a lot of himself. He’s not above carrying the ball bag if he’s asked to. He fosters team work and everyone being together. He runs the huddle. He’s great in the pregame. He’s the kind of guy kids naturally want to follow. He’s a great face of the program. He’s a West Seneca kid. He’s a hard-worker, a blue-collar guy.”

email: tnigrelli@beenews.com

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