Camp Lejeune, NC | February 7, 2019
Looking back at great Lejeune High School (LHS) football players, one might think of 2012 alum Akile Jones, a one-time state record holder who went on to play football at Campbell University.
Jamaz Richardson, a 2014 graduate, is remembered for a 2,000-yard rushing performance during the 2012 season.
Matthew Peterman will now be forever linked to those standouts.
Peterman, a senior, signed his letter of intent to play football at Alma College, Feb. 7 at LHS on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Peterman’s teammates, teachers, classmates and coaches gathered to support Number 13 as he signed the papers surrounded by his family.
Peterman had Grover City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania and Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania on his radar for schools to attend. He said he chose the Alma College Scots because of its strong academic reputation. Peterman noted that the school’s education program is ranked second in the state of Michigan.
“Matthew made himself into what he turned out to be,” said Jim Gardiner, football coach at LHS. “He worked hard in the gym and got strong. He inspired others, and he was determined to be an outstanding football player. Alma is lucky to have him. They don’t know how good he is yet.”
In the last two seasons, Peterman caught 24 passes for 470 yards averaging 19.6 yards per catch and scored three touchdowns. As a running back, he had nine carries for 80 yards and a touchdown.
On defense, Peterman totaled 89 tackles and recorded two sacks.
Peterman toured Alma college and said team members and the college’s weight rooms impressed him most.
Peterman faced adversity during the 2018 season when, at a home game against Spring Creek High School, he fell to the ground during an extra point attempt. Three minutes were left in the first quarter, and Lejeune’s team captain was down. An injured shoulder put Peterman on the sidelines for most of the season. He missed the next six games but was able to return to the field against Dixon on Oct. 26.
With 5:34 left in the second quarter, Peterman snagged a 25-yard touchdown pass, the only score of the game for the Devil Pups in a 50-8 loss.
“I am happy to sign with Alma College, even with my injury this year,” said Peterman. “It felt great to return (during the game against Dixon) because I thought I was out for the rest of the year. I knew I had to put in the work with the setbacks I had from the injury. It was great to come back and energize the team because I was gone for so long.”
Gardiner called Peterman a leader.
“Matthew is like a sparkplug and got out there on the field, energizing the whole team,” Gardiner said of the Dixon game. “For a team that lost probably 30 or 40 games in a row, Peterman helps the team pick their game up and goes on the field motivating his teammates against their rival. He scored a touchdown after not scoring in three or four games.”
Fellow senior captain Desmond Johnson played three years of football with Peterman.
“Matthew has been a great teammate and I am so happy for him,” said Johnson. “He has always been the lightning rod of the team, providing all of the energy and hype before games. We love him for (coming back to play in the Dixon away game). It was a game that he really didn’t even have to play. He already had colleges talking to him.”
Outside of football, Peterman volunteers for the Special Olympics. plans to major in special education at Alma College, a Division III school located in Alma, Michigan.
The Scots are part
of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The football team went 2-8 in 2018.