Cathedral Preparatory School rising junior Matthew Bauer wants to follow in the footsteps of former NFL players like Luke Kuechley, Brian Bosworth and Bo Jackson, as a two-sport athlete which isn’t off the table for Bauer. In terms of Cathedral Prep, he wants to leave a good impression on those that know him and become a part of the list of recent Prep grads to play Division I football: Damion Terry (Michigan State), Charlie Fessler (Northwestern) and James Trucilla (Virginia).
“I want to be known as one of the best at my high school. We’ve had a few really good players that gone high to Division I, we have to players right now, one at Michigan State, one at Northwestern, one at Virginia and we had a guy a while ago, who played for the [Indianapolis] Colts,” he said. “Those guys are kind of thought of as legends, have their own stories about them and how great they were. I want to be like that, maybe at the next levels with how people talk about me, I want it all to be good. I don’t want to be that guy when he leaves, people talk behind his back because he wasn’t liked or did stuff wrong.”
Bauer started playing football at the age of eight for a Family First football league that his dad got him involved in. That’s also where he built the relationship with current high school head coach Mike Mischler.
“There has been a few people. Then coming up, I had a bunch of good coaches: Chris King, he was my middle school coach; now coach [Mike] Mischler, he’s my high school coach and he actually ran the league at Family First Sports Park, that connection started when I was really young. Those coaches had a big impact on me so overall it’s just a lot of people,” he said.
Mischler has also been integral part in helping Bauer keep everything in line as far as the recruiting process is concerned. He said that Bauer has always been a superior athlete and it is his maturity level that he has seen grow the most over the last two years.
“He is a special player, but also a great kid. He comes from great stock. He works very hard every day to excel academically and athletically. I am proud of him just like I am any of my players who strive to live a moral life while paying attention to their academic and athletic careers,” Mischler said.
The six-foot-two, 205 pound, Erie, Pennsylvania native has received scholarship offers from Iowa State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Virginia and others. Bauer recorded 104 tackles (31 solo), 11 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, three pass breakups and one forced fumble.
“I try to be the one the defense that everyone rallies behind, I’m trying to be the heart. So with my defense, personally one guy that everyone looks at to make the plays, it’s everybody doing their job perfectly… I think I’m the one that’s looked up to and I’m also the one that looks to the others. It’s a mutual feeling,” Bauer said.
Bauer plays both inside and outside linebacker and he likes to blitz and chase down running backs in the open field.
“I think that when it’s time to come down hill, I use my hands well, I think I use my vision well, my best asset like I said is chasing down running backs and just getting to the ball. So pretty much shedding blocks, getting there and on certain times where I play outside linebacker basically making different plays like that.”
Mischler added the following about what college coaches he has spoken to like about Bauer and it works in his favor on the football field.
“They mostly like his “twitchiness”. He is sudden and explosive. When they see him in person he has a very long frame to him. He will be able to add 25-30 pounds on his frame easily while being able to maintain that burst he currently possesses.”
Bauer believes that football is a great way to test one’s skills and loves the sport for its ability to build a bond between teammates.
“It’s the greatest thing anyone can do to test their own skills. It’s like war between two people to test the skills above and just test everything, overall physical ability and of course going to school for free is another big play. The bonding of a team that’s formed when you play football is something that you can’t mimic anywhere else.”
Bauer will be an upperclassman next season and he has two years left to make every play count.
“The best part I love is the intensity of playing under Friday nights and then when you hit somebody and it hurts so badly but you know inside you just want to keep doing it again. It’s the best feeling in the world.”