Athlete Of The Week: Matt Farniok, Washington High School Warriors
Call it destiny. Call it a family tradition. Call it what you will. Any way you look at it this individual was born to play football.
Who am I talking about?
I'm talking about none other than this week's Athlete of the Week, Matt Farniok.
Matt is currently a senior football player at Washington High School.
You take one look at Matt and you pretty much assume "football player" thanks to his 6'7" size and being built like a brick house. You listen to him for one minute, and it won't take long to hear the passion, dedication, and intelligence in his voice.
It's just like a phrase I once heard: "Talks like a scholar and plays like a champion." Which pretty much sums up the quick version of Matt.
When you come from a rich football family like the Farnioks, it seems as though each child is born to play great football. The second youngest of four children, all who excel in the game of football, Matt is continuing what many would like to call the Farniok legacy at Washington High School.
Matt's two older brothers are excelling at the next level with one currently playing for the Oklahoma Sooners and one with the Minnesota Vikings. Even his younger brother is playing football for Washington, eager to carry on the legacy.
When asked how he felt about continuing the football success of his family, Matt answered with an answer that only a true humble leader would answer.
"It's an awesome feeling to be a part of something bigger than yourself," answered Matt.
Of course, Matt has certainly paved his own path of success at Washington. In fact Matt has been an integral part of the success of this year's top ranked Washington Warriors football team. The team has played exceptionally well this year earning the top spot and proving that they are the best in the state.
Great teams are not just measured by their great performances on the field, but also their mindset off the field. It's easy to get caught up in all the hype and excitement with being number one, but not for Matt and the Warriors.
"The number one spot is nothing but a number to us," said Matt . "You have to be ready to bring your best every week, you have to want to play your heart out every week because anyone can beat anyone."
That is the type of mindset that you see in championship winning teams, and it is the mindset that has been with Matt his entire football career.
Great teams aren't without a little adversity, and the Warriors are no different. Many times you see teams unravel after adversity and never recover. Matt and the Warriors overcame an early season loss to Sioux Falls Lincoln, but overcame it with ease as they went perfect the rest of the season and entered the Dome as number one.
They had the right mindset to overcome such an early and tough loss.
"You've got to have the mindset that you won't lose ever again. Remember how it felt to loose and make sure you work your butt off so that it won't happen again," said Matt .
It was easy to tell just how well rounded Farniok is with the passion and sincerity in all his answers. When asked what he loved most about his time playing football Matt instantly went to his coaches and teammates.
"I wouldn't be where I am without the help of my coaches," stated Matt . "Each person only has so much natural talent, it's the coaches that help mold them into great players."
"One of the strengths of our team is that we have each other’s backs, we are always there for each other and that's what I love about football," stated Matt.
Matt and the rest of the Warriors football team have continually given their all for the team and has never backed away from a challenge, which has resulted in a wonderful season for the Warriors football team.
As for Matt's future? There is certainly more football to be played. The only dilemma Matt has to address is where he'll play next year.
For the time being however, Matt is solely focused on finishing out the year strong but as he states, he will never forget what playing football at Washington has meant for him.
"I'm just focused on finishing this year perfect and not letting anything distract me. I do plan on playing football in the future," said Matt. "No matter where I go I will always remember the hard work and teamwork I gained from playing football here."