Sports

SK standout versatile like a Fox

Matt Foxworthy was a first-team, all-Narrows League Bridge Division selection at tight end for the Wolves. - Jesse Beals/Staff Photo
Matt Foxworthy was a first-team, all-Narrows League Bridge Division selection at tight end for the Wolves.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/Staff Photo

He played two sports and arguably was the Wolves’ best player in both.

On the gridiron, South Kitsap senior Matt Foxworthy was a first-team, all-Narrows League Bridge Division selection at tight end. But it was on the mat where he dominated with a 37-1 record with 28 pins and a second-place finish in Class 4A Mat Classic at 215 pounds.

It was the best finish at South since Brent Chriswell and Josiah Kipperberg won state championships a couple of years ago.

“He’s put together as dominant of a year as any wrestler we’ve ever had,” South coach Chad Nass said in February. “And we’ve had some pretty dominant wrestlers.”

For those reasons, Foxworthy is the Port Orchard Independent’s Male Athlete of the Year.

A Virginia native, Foxworthy moved with his family to Port Orchard at the suggestion of his stepfather, Ken Laha, who grew up in the area.

Foxworthy ran into problems when they lived in Bellingham with charges that ranged from misdemeanors to gross misdemeanors for what he said involved fighting, marijuana possession and running away from home.

“I was getting in the wrong crowd and hanging out with the wrong kids,” he said. “I wasn’t competing in sports anymore.”

That changed when he came to Port Orchard as an eighth grader and enrolled at John Sedgwick Junior High. He joined the wrestling team there late in the season and played that sport in addition to football the next year.

Foxworthy played both sports for three years at South, but wrestling always was his main passion.

He often stayed up until 1 a.m. or later to study the moves of famous wrestlers Rulon Gardner and Cale Sanderson on YouTube.

It still is difficult for him to discuss Feb. 16 — the night where Central Valley’s Tyler Cochran earned a 6-4 win in overtime to upset the state’s top-ranked 4A wrestler.

Foxworthy said he will use it as motivation when he signs at either Northern Colorado University or Utah Valley State to become an All-American wrestler.

Wherever he ends up, the place that “changed my life” never will be too far from Foxworthy’s mind. He wants to become a firefighter and a wrestling coach someday and hopes to raise a family in Port Orchard.

“I want my kids to come here and see my name on the wall,” he said. “Even if they don’t play here, I want them to be inspired.”

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