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Bringing it Next Level
Blake Mattson, a sophomore in at Southern Illinois, plays Division 1 football. Mattson’s dream ever since he was a kid was to be a Green Bay Packer football player. He is starting to make that dream come true.
It took a lot of hard work to get to play football in college. Mattson gave up his summers and missed out on fun activities and sleepovers with his friends. He committed his life. Do what others won’t do.
Now that Mattson has reached his goal, the work just keeps getting harder.
Mattson’s average day goes like this lift at 6 am, class from 8 to 10 am, then class again from 12 to 1 pm. He then has film from 2 to 3 pm and practice from 3 to 5:30 pm. And finally film until 6:30. Mattson never has time to rest, but he won’t want it any other way.
“College football isn’t easy,” says Mattson, “there’s a lot of dedication and hard work, but there are a lot of rewards. You have to be all or nothing. You have to be 100% committed otherwise you won’t make it.”
Mattson likes the competition and friendship the most about football.
Mattson lives by the quote said by Rocky Balboa, “Going in one more round when you don’t think you can. That’s what makes the all the difference in your life.”
The first college football camp Mattson went into he was only eighteen years old and he was going up against twenty-four and twenty-three year olds, full grown men. He was fresh out of high school and coaches treated the boys like a piece of meat, they would pound you until you get it right. Boys would dislocate their fingers and sprain their ankles, but the coaches would tell them that’s not an injury. They would have to play on.
In the little free time that he has, he hangs out with guys from the team and watches tv and goes to socialize at local establishments, but mainly he sleeps.
The school at Southern Illinois main focus is on the football program so the facilities are nice.
Mattson is currently on special teams, but the next two years he hopes to be an impact player. He plays the outside linebacker position.
“Football isn’t easy, but if you have faith in yourself you can accomplish your dreams.”