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Trib HS Insider Q&A: Burrell's Matt Hess

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Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Burrell's Matt Hess (34) is hit hard by Valley's Chaz Cheatham during the Sept. 7, 2012, game at Burrell High School.
Top high school sports
Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Senior Matt Hess moved from center to tight end this season, but the burly Burrell Buccaneer remains one of the team's top run blockers.

Burrell is averaging 291 rushing yards, led by running back Cole Bush. But Bush will tell you, he'd be much less of a threat without an experienced line and its aggressive sidecar Hess, whom Bush claims has “the team's best beard.”

The good-natured Hess is one of the most competitive and outgoing players in the Alle-Kiski Valley. But football isn't his best sport: He is a rugby standout.

And his nickname is “Peach.”


“Because he looks like a peach: round and orange,” Bush said. “He's a kid who likes to stray from the norm.”

Q: What's your height and weight?

A: I'm 6-3, 250. The roster is wrong. Has me at 6-foot, 225. That's from last year.

Q: How has the transition been from lineman to tight end?

A: I'm still blocking 70 percent of the time. I realized if I made the transition it could be huge for us so Bush could run off tackle. I didn't mind the move. I am a team player.

Q: Explain the “Peach” nickname, please.

A: When I was little, like 2 years old, my sister (Ellie) and her best friend called me that. I always had a buzz cut. My hair was orange and fuzzy, like a peach. Now the whole community calls me that.

Q: What about that beard?

A: For football season I grow out my hair and beard. I like to look rugged and mean.

Q: You want to play rugby in college?

A: Yes. I want to play Division I. I went to some camps at Penn State. Delaware and Penn State are my favorites right now.

Q: What position do you play in rugby?

A: Tighthead prop. I am the front-right guy in a scrum. Props are the biggest guys.

Q: Word is you're good at most games you play?

A: I pick things up quick. You don't want to play me in cornhole. I am one of the best in town. And I'm a beast at pingpong.

Q: What's it like blocking for Cole Bush?

A: We know, as a line, as long as we do our job, he'll do his. He's a power back.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-226-2689.

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