Trib HS Insider Q&A: West Shamokin's Matt Johns
TribLIVE Sports Videos
West Shamokin junior Matt Johns has made a relatively seamless transition back into football, a sport he last played in eighth grade.
A 5-foot-8, 160-pound two-way starter at defensive back and running back, Johns gained 146 yards on 35 carries through six weeks. He rushed for a season-high 48 yards and scored twice on eight carries in the 25-6 win over Riverview in Week 3 that snapped West Shamokin's 46-game losing streak.
Q: What brought you back to football?
A: The low (participation) numbers, and I just missed it. I wanted it back. It's fun. I like the family feeling of the football team.
Q: How difficult was it to come back? Did you feel rusty?
A: Yeah, I kind of do. It's a big jump from seventh and eighth grade football to the varsity level. It's a big jump in atmosphere and how people play. It's just more complicated.
Q: What was the toughest part about the transition?
A: It's more complicated and more complex. You've got to think more on the run. You don't just go to the same spot. You can change the play on the go a little bit.
Q: Why did you initially stop playing?
A: I kind of just wanted a break. I played so many sports, and I didn't have time for anything else. I kind of missed having free time. But then after I got away from the sport, I wanted it back. So it was kind of a mistake. If I could go back now, I'd play the whole way through, and it'd be much better.
Q: You've done well despite your inexperience. Are you surprised by your performance?
A: Yeah, I didn't expect it to come that easily and to get that much into the offense and play that much just because I skipped so many years.
Q: What was it like for you, as a new guy on the team, to experience the win that ended the losing streak?
A: I kind of felt like they (teammates) deserved it a little more than me. They put in so many years of effort more than I did, taking those losses. I mean, it was still exciting to be there with them and have that enjoyment. But it definitely seemed like they deserved it more than I did.
Q: What's one sport you wish you could play that just doesn't go well for you?
A: Probably baseball. It just looks like something that'd be fun to do. It's kind of a nice, relaxed pace to the game instead of go, go, go.
Q: What's the least natural part of baseball for you?
A: All of it. It just wasn't there for me — I couldn't catch, I couldn't throw.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fights reported, shots fired outside Monroeville Mall restaurant
- Lawsuit: Pittsburgh Public Schools should have known officer was abusing boys
- White House domestic staff share stories in ‘The Residence’
- Review: Bruce DeSilva delivers another outstanding mystery
- Mackey: For Pens’ Winnik, playing with Crosby an ongoing process
- Penguins pushing to sell playoff tickets
- Only 3 wolves left at national park on Lake Superior; moose population would skyrocket
- 5 years on, empty graves, full hearts for Gulf survivors
- Turrentine tribute features fine play
- Monongahela seeks community help for Mounds Park upgrades
- Outdoors group pumps up annual Marianna Canoe Race