By Ryan Buck
Of all the accolades McDonald senior basketball standout Matt Seitz has accumulated this season, his most recent is perhaps the most unexpected.
Seitz was voted the Ohio National Guard JJHuddle state player of the week for Week 8 of the high school basketball season.
“I don’t even go on the site,” Seitz said of the popular website that has become a daily destination for Ohio high school coaches, players and fans. “I woke up one morning and my dad was like, ‘Hey son, you’ve been nominated for player of the week in the state.’”
A grassroots internet and social media campaign from the McDonald community, and even opposing coaches and fans, gave him more votes than nine other accomplished players throughout the state.
JJHuddle administrators decided the leading vote-getter and McDonald’s new record-holder in career points scored would get the honor.
On Feb. 1, Seitz scored 26 points to break the school record of 1,202, formerly held by Matthias Tayala, while pulling down 10 rebounds. The Blue Devils defeated Hubbard, 66-59.
The following Tuesday, he scored 32 points and recorded 10 more rebounds in a 98-54 win over Leetonia as his magical senior year kept getting better.
“It’s a blessing,” he said. “I can’t for ask for anything more, with the way our team’s playing, our record and I’m really happy where we are going into tournament play.”
Seitz, who hasn’t decided on a college yet, will receive a banner from the National Guard and JJHuddle that the school will likely hang up.
It is a district championship banner, however, he wants to see a lot more.
“We go back to work every day, win or lose,” he said. “[Individual awards], that’s not the ultimate goal. That’s winning district championship and bringing it back to McDonald.”
The Blue Devils, the second seed in the Division IV district, play Sebring Feb. 25 at home and will have to get past the Trojans, Mineral Ridge, and potentially the likes of Lowellville and top seed Wellsville to fulfill their goal.
Should they continue their winning ways, the Blue Devils are guaranteed two more home games.
“I’m excited to play at home a couple more times,” Seitz said. “It’s gonna be a packed house. We basically have home-field advantage.”