If Matt Wehman has a greater passion than school spirit, you'd be hard-pressed to find it.
"This year, we put together a student section for the basketball team," said the Evans Middle School eighth-grader. "A lot of us like to express our school spirit."
"Matt was an avid fan of our EMS basketball team, attended all of the school's home and away games, and led our students in cheers and school spirit during these games," Evans Middle Principal Kirk Wright said. "What impressed me the most is that he cheered respectfully for his schoolmates, but he never resorted to mocking or taunting the other teams, something that many of our students see on television and tend to imitate."
Blake Crewe, a health and physical education teacher, calls Matt one of the school's "unofficial spirit leaders" during the basketball season.
"He would get his friends and they would all come to the games wearing school colors and in costumes waving an Evans flag, which Matt made," Crewe said. "The flag was large and you would see Matt running up and down the court with the flag. He would also get the crowd into the game by starting chants and cheers. He is a great kid. In my five years here at this school, he is among the cream of the crop."
During the months of November and December, Matt served as an anchorman for the school's morning newscast. Often, he would incorporate a sports story into the broadcast.
Matt Wehman, an eighth-grader at Evans Middle School, was nominated for the Kids Count feature by his principal, Kirk Wright. Matt attended all the school's basketball games and led other pupils in cheering for the team.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"As usual, (Matt) did his part to contribute to the interest and professionalism of this news show," said Patricia Hunsucker, a technology education teacher at Evans Middle. "Matt is a courteous, caring, dependable student. Matthew makes it easy to like him because of his quick-thinking, witty personality."
Aside from school spirit, Matt also has an intense passion for playing baseball and football.
"When you play baseball and football, you have a lot of school pride," said Matt, the son of Don and Jennifer Whitaker, of Martinez, and Richard Wehman, of Atlanta.
"He was a standout linebacker in football this season," Crewe said. "His intensity and competitive nature makes him excel in sports."
Another area where Matt excels is academics.
"Matt showed me his last report card, which consisted of all 100s and two 99s," Crewe said. "Matt is in several gifted classes here and still makes perfect grades. His comment to me was that there is still room for improvement. It is not that Matt is a perfectionist, but he strives to better himself any way he can."
A member of the school's math team for the past two years, Matt also participated in Model UN last year and has been a member of the Beta Club for the past three years.
The rising freshman said he has high hopes of going to Clemson University, his mother's alma mater.
"I'm determined to go to Clemson University," he said.
Wright added, "If my own sons grow up to be anything like Matt, I will be blessed."
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