By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
Newburgh Free Academy senior kicker Pete Matthews sounds like an actor giving a speech after winning an Academy Award when asked about breaking Section 9’s record for most career kicking points.
Matthews is gracious and has a long list of people to thank, including his parents, Paul and Zoe, Newburgh coach Bill Bianco and his coaching staff, his teammates past and present, and his kicking coaches, including former Section 9 standouts Pat Toole and Dan Orner.
“I have a lot of people to thank and I appreciate every one of them,” Matthews said. “My parents have driven me all over the place to train, Coach Bianco allows me to go for field goals any time we are in range, and my teammates have always had my back. When I came up as a freshman, I was young and inexperienced. I was actually nervous. But my teammates showed me the way and gave me a lot of confidence.”
Matthews has 192 career kicking points (13 field goals, 153 extra points) and needs five more to break the record of 196 set by Monroe-Woodbury’s Jamie Boyle, who played from 2006-08. Boyle went on to kick at Division I Central Florida. Matthews broke Boyle’s Section 9 record for most extra points (151) in a career in a 41-0 win over Middletown last week.
Matthews now has 153 extra points for the Goldbacks during his career. He has kicked four field goals this season for Newburgh (5-2).
“Pete gets the job done whenever we need him,” Newburgh quarterback Terry Anderson said. “It’s like we are sending a secret weapon out there. I believe in him 100 percent because he always goes out there and gets it done. You have to respect him because he works and trains hard.”
Like many kickers, Matthews has a soccer background, but he stopped playing at the age of 10 to focus on football and baseball. He helped Newburgh reach the Class AA state championship game as a freshman. Several schools, including Sacred Heart, Monmouth University, Albany University and Stony Brook University, are interested in Matthews.
“I think this record is a great accomplishment for Pete,” Newburgh coach Bill Bianco said. “It means you have been very consistent during your career. Pete is a great kid and everyone loves being around him. We are happy for him.”