Senior Matthew Spaulding is the National Football League’s (NFL) recipient of their high school “Way To Play” award for week 3. The 2019 season is the second year for the weekly award for NFL players and the first year for the weekly award for high school players. It was created in conjunction with the NFL Legends to promote proper playing technique across all levels of football. The high school initiative is partnered with Hudl (athletic video review and performance analysis) and voted on by NFL representatives.
Matthew was nominated by his coach, Chris Kuipers, for the award. In the linked video below from September 13, Spaulding (#20) displays exemplary football technique in a block allowing Treffers (#82) to scramble for a touchdown. Matthew purposefully avoided a crackback block on a Unity Christian player. Instead, he chose to gain the same benefit of a block for his receiver by getting between the two players, but also greatly reducing the risk of injury to the opposing player. There are ways to accomplish the goal of moving the football down the field with toughness and athleticism (or score a basket or get the soccer ball or slide into 2nd… ), but avoid the type of play that increases the risk of injury to opposing players. Limiting injury risk in sports is important for everyone on the field, no matter what team a player competes for.
Through the NFL “Way To Play” High School Award, Holland Christian will receive a $1,500 equipment grant through USA Football. The NFL Network’s Good Morning Football Show recognizes the weekly recipients during the NFL season on their Saturday morning broadcasts.