Trib HS Insider Q&A: Chaz Cheatham, Valley
For the first time in his Valley High School career, senior Chaz Cheatham is starting at wide receiver, where he hopes to be a big-play target for his quarterback and brother, Ty Matthews. Cheatham and Matthews used to catch football in the street, with Cheatham pretending he was the QB and Matthews the wideout. Now, their roles are reversed as the pair tries to lead Valley back to respectability in Class AA.
Last week, Matthews found Cheatham in the end zone for a game-winning touchdown pass as Valley beat Deer Lakes, 14-7, to snap a 22-game losing streak.
Q: You have broken a 22-game losing streak. Was there a better way to open the season?
A: People kept bringing it up. All I have seen with this team is progress. There is a different atmosphere now with this team; we're more focused.
Q: Valley and Burrell will renew a long-time, heated conference rivalry Friday night. What does this game mean to you?
A: It's Burrell. They're right up the road, up the bypass. We needed to bring this game back. It's the headliner. It's what people are talking about.
Q: Do Burrell and Valley players get along?
A: Well, there are guys on this team that have friends over there. That's not for me. My boys are only at Valley.
Q: Explain your relationship to Ty Matthews.
A: We have the same dad, Ty Sr.
Q: You and Ty grew up together. Were you always competitive?
A: Yes. We always played football together. I was always over his house. Hopefully, we can hook up a lot on the field this year.
Q: Valley grad Toney Clemons was drafted by the Steelers in April. Did you grow up watching him play?
A: I came to a lot of games and sat up in the stands and watched. That was before we had turf and everything. It's always great to see someone from your town go to the pros. You can say, ‘I saw him play in high school.'
Q: You guys went away for training camp, at Slippery Rock University. What was the experience like?
A: It was a fun time. I took some pictures on Instagram. They had great food up there for us. Especially the stir-fry and pizza.