Welcome to the first in our series of stories about various players on our 2016 roster. In this first installment we learn more about Matt Kerrigan, returning O-Line Cutter who led the Breeze in both Goals and Assists in 2015. Here’s Matt…
Matt Kerrigan was mercifully picked out of the weight room his junior year of high school by the fledgling Belmont High School ultimate team. Free weights was his last resort for a third PE credit and, in his memory, a fairly miserable experience. “I was way more self conscious then,” he says glancing down at his legs with hallmark wry, retiring humor. That attitude is understandable for any 16-year old consigned to the weight room, but especially for Matt; a less generous writer would describe even his adult frame as “scrawny.” With patchwork defence and offences the team “cooked up” on the spot, rag-tag Belmont lost every game that spring. But, of course, as any ultimate player could predict, it didn’t matter– Matt was hooked.
From his scrappy BHS days, Matt went on to play for Georgetown, captaining his junior and senior years. He focused on building the team and leading Catholic Justice to tie for third at regionals his junior year. After suffering a frustrating shoulder dislocation, Matt missed the 2013 club season but rostered with Medicine Men the following year. 2015 marked Matt’s first season with the Breeze.
Matt is the kid you want on your team. Matt is also the kid you don’t want to match up against. In his own words, Matt is a tireless cutter. He attacks with his legs and faultlessly gets open under. With a little prompting, he impishly admits to exuberance in the end zone that may push the spirit line. “I get fired up after scoring” he shrugs matter-of-factly. Miraculously, he’s not cocky about his cutting prowess. But nor is he remotely remorseful about getting fired up. The game seems to exist in a healthy balance of elite athleticism and competitive revelry for Matt. Or, maybe one compliments the other resulting in his deep and uniquely practical love of ultimate.
For his all his pragmatism and self-effacing humor (“Famous Frisbee player? It’s like ‘um who are you?’”), Matt turns serious when he speaks about signing with the Breeze. He doesn’t lead with it, but Matt is clearly humbled to join next season’s roster with some big name Breeze veterans. “I’ve never gone to Nationals, never saw myself as a ‘first six’ [to sign] player,” he says. And, charmingly, he remains a little in awe of his Breeze teammates, invoking Brad and Ben, Kolick and Shofner. “What an honor to play with them– but I gotta make sure I go out and work.”
“You don’t remember games or your plays. You remember the feel of the year and those guys.” It’s fair to say that the focus on team chemistry and spirit with which Matt strengthened his college program has carried him onto the Breeze 2016 roster. “It’s hard to play for the individual glory” he reflects, “so you might as well play for the people around you.” The feeling’s mutual, Matt. Welcome back to the Breeze.
— Libby Chamberlin, Breeze Staff Writer