"He never complained. He never whined, never said anything negative, and he just kept his focus and said, 'I'll work through this,' " Glenn said. "This is the type of man he is."

But despite his ailments, Matt kept coming back.

"It took a lot of patience on my part and on my coaches' part," Matt said. "My coaches stayed true to me with these injuries. They trusted me, and they knew when I came back, I'd be committed and ready to go."


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Even when he decided he was going to play baseball in college, he never wavered on his commitment to the football and basketball teams. That's just who he is, Glenn said, and that's what he admires most as a father.

"He values commitment," Glenn said. "I know he wanted to get out on the football field and prove that he could perform at the highest level in high school, and he didn't want to let his teammates down. … He's an unselfish young man, and he's about holding up his commitments for his teammates."

That's why Sheets thinks Matt hasn't yet reached his potential.

In order to be successfull in baseball, you have to play every day throughout the entire year, Sheets said, and Matt has never had the time for that type of commitment.

Now, he will.

"Here's a kid that's 6-4, hits with tremendous power and has an above-average arm," Sheets said. "I think that William and Mary is going to get a diamond in the rough."

Before he heads to college, however, Matt hopes to lead Gilman to its second MIAA A Conference championship in four years.

After that? Matt can only dream.

"As time goes by, maybe I'll get the opportunity to get drafted. Whether that's first round or the later rounds, I think I'd be very fortunate," he said. "It would be a dream come true."

Sheets, though, doesn't think it will be a dream for much longer. He thinks it will become Matt's reality, sooner rather than later.

"There's a lot of things you can teach, but you can't teach speed, and you can't teach size. And he's got both of them," Sheets said. "I think his upside potential is ahead of him."

jvitale@baltsun.com

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