Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Catching Up with defender Matt O'Keefe
By Tom Peace
Duxbury (Mass.) senior defender Matt O’Keefe had an impressive fall, leading the football team to its second-straight undefeated season and second state championship as the starting quarterback.
His fall came on the heels of being named one of the players from to the 2011 Warrior 40 over the summer.
O’Keefe thrives as a big-time lacrosse player as well as a great quarterback, who has won in the stadium where Tom Brady plays for the New England Patriots.
ESPNHS tracked the Johns Hopkins commit down to ask him some questions about his off-season training, his future, and what it's like to win the "Super Bowl."
ESPNHS: How has your fall been?
Matt O’Keefe: My fall has been going great. Football season just wrapped up with our second-straight undefeated season and another Super Bowl* victory at Gillette Stadium.
ESPNHS: What have you done to keep yourself in lacrosse shape?
MO: Our varsity lacrosse team trains with our school strength coach, Rob Ferreira, to build strength, speed and agility for the season in the spring. Coach Ferreira works very hard to get our team prepared to compete at a very high level.
ESPNHS: What was it like winning the state championship in football?
MO: It was definitely exciting to be able to win our second-straight Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium. I ended up throwing for 2,321 yards and 35 touchdowns while rushing for 670 yards and five touchdowns [for the season].
ESPNHS: What are your goals for the upcoming senior season?
MO: As a team, we always strive to be the best team in Massachusetts and to also compete at a national level.
ESPNHS: Who is the player you look up to?
MO: I look up to former Duxbury players Max Quinzani (Duke), Chris Nixon (Georgetown), Chris Ajemian (Fairfield), and many other Duxbury grads because I can remember watching them play at the varsity level when I was growing up.
ESPNHS: When you chose Johns Hopkins, was the fact that Coach Pietramala was a former defenseman factor into your decision?
MO: Definitely, Coach Petro is one of the best defenders ever to play the game of lacrosse so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from him for the next four years at Johns Hopkins.
ESPNHS: Who would you say is the toughest attackman you had to lock down?
MO: Every day at practice I am challenged by our crew of attackmen which includes Seamus Connelly, Paul Hellar, Sam Sweet, Will Siefert and CJ LoConte. I've also known Darien attackmen Case Matheis since middle school and he is always a lot of fun to cover.
ESPNHS: Best check on an attacker?
MO: The checks that I use the most on my attackmen are the poke, slap, and lift checks. I aim to change up which checks that I am throwing at different points of the game in order to keep the attackmen guessing on what will come next.
ESPNHS: What is the No. 1 thing that intimidates you about the college game?
MO: The speed of the game because of the incredible athletes who compete at the Division I level.
*The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) refers to their state championship games as Super Bowls.