REGION — Oceanside student Joseph Matthews was named a Scholar Leader Athlete award winner on Jan. 30 by the Walter J. Zable chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
Matthews, a senior at Oceanside High School, was one of 27 high school student-athletes selected for San Diego and Imperial counties who demonstrated outstanding performances in academics, athletics and community service leadership.
In the classroom, Matthews is ranked 24th in his class with a weighted 4.23 GPA and plans to attend and play football at Palomar College.
On the gridiron, Matthews was a dynamic playmaker on both sides of the ball as a running back, quarterback and safety for the Pirates football team.
Matthews was an All-Avocado League selection, leading the team with an average of 7.8 tackles per game for 70 total tackles (36 solo tackles), according to MaxPreps.
Matthews also caused two fumbles and had four quarterback hurries.
While the Pirates’ struggled to generate much offense during last season’s 0-10 campaign, Matthews was the team’s leading rusher, averaging 38 yards per game for a total of 342 yards and two touchdowns.
Matthews will receive a $1,500 scholarship during an awards banquet on Friday, April 14, at Hilton Doubletree in Mission Valley. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Foundation’s Scholar Leader Athlete awards.
Other North County recipients include Conner Annicharico (La Costa Canyon), Brian Butler (San Marcos), Luke Heggie, (Santa Fe Christian), Victory Johnson (Cathedral Catholic), Blake McGihon (Horizon Prep), Noah Snyder (San Pasqual) and Anthony Thomas (Fallbrook).
Past San Diego chapter winners include Oceanside High grad and Chargers star Junior Seau and Helix High School (La Mesa) alums Alex Smith and Reggie Bush.
Other Walter J. Zable San Diego chapter winners for 2022-23 include:
Troy Bassler (University City), Chance Bell (Mira Mesa), Tyler Bourke (Eastlake), Dominic Denha (El Capitan), Abel Estrada (Montgomery), Luke Gonzalez (Poway), Charles Hines (Lincoln), Jake Jackson (Madison), Chase Lowary (Point Loma), Dominic Nankil (Mater Dei), Jacob Pablo (Otay Ranch), Easton Peterson (Granite Hills), Justin Scully (La Jolla), Saxton Sylvester (Coronado), Owen Tsay (Maranatha), Daniel Ugarte (Bonita Vista), Drew Ventimiglia (Mt. Carmel), Brayden Wilson (West Hills) and Aleksandr Wojcik (Mar Vista).
Lincoln High’s Hines was also named the winner of the Willie Jones Most Inspirational Award.