Editor's note: This story is featured in the Daily Citizen-News' weekly high school football Touchdown! section. Grab an issue in papers on Fridays during football season, or stop by our office for a copy.
Southeast Whitfield High School's Matt Wojcik is hoping to take his reliability on the football field into his lifelong career.
The senior Raider, a defensive lineman and part-time fullback, has hopes of pursing a career in nursing following his high school days.
"My mom is a nurse and my dad is a physician so I've been around the medical field my whole life," Wojcik said. "I just enjoy it, and I love to help people out and I know that that's what nursing is centered around versus the biological side of it like a physician. I really just think nursing is something that I would enjoy."
Wojcik said he would love to work in the emergency room where things have the potential to get become extra stressful. The thought doesn't bother him, however, knowing that he can bounce around on the football field, too.
"He's a utility player, and he knows the game," Southeast coach Sean Gray said. "As far as knowledge of the game, he is one of our smartest players."
Though the Raiders (0-8, 0-4 in Region 6-4A) haven't won a game yet this season, Wojcik has had a couple of standout performances as of late. Three weeks ago against Gilmer, he finished with 12 tackles, three tackles for loss, a pass deflection, as well as two catches for 25 yards. Last Friday night against Heritage, he followed up with eight tackles, three tackles for loss, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and one reception.
"It feels good to know that the coaches rely on me to get the job done at any position," Wojcik said. "I just want people to know I'm reliable."
Wojcik -- one of the team's four captains -- and his fellow seniors take the field for the final time in front of their home crowd tonight when Southeast hosts county-rival Northwest Whitfield.
He said the thought of leaving football behind is definitely bittersweet, but is thankful to know he's had some amazing memories. Walking him out for his senior-night recognition will be his parents, who Wojcik said are excited for his desire to join the medical field.
"I know after this year it'll be a tough one to bite since I won't be playing anymore," he said. "It's going to be cool (for my parents to walk me out) but emotional at the same time just knowing that they have been here the whole way to support me. I just love them to death for being there, and they definitely think that a nursing career has a wide variety of job opportunities."
Wojcik said he plans to join the four-year nursing degree program at Dalton State College. Before that, he's got two more games and a chance to make a few more memories.
"I'll definitely miss the relationships I've made and the fun times we've had," he said. "It's been a great past few years."