Brothers Clinton and Brett Matter have taken whatBrothers Clinton and Brett Matter have taken whatthey learned from their father and applied it at Penn For Clinton and Brett Matter, wrestling has always been a family affair. And who was their first coach at that young age? None other than their father, Andrew, a two-time national champion (167 pounds) at Penn State in 1971 and 1972. "I've always had an affinity for wrestling," Andrew Matter said. "It kind of gets into your blood. It was special for me, and when I introduced my two sons to it, they kind of caught on to it as well and have taken off from there." Clinton, who wrestles at 177 pounds, has a 10-2 record so far this season. Last year, Clinton went 26-9. But a season-ending knee injury ended his quest to qualify for the NCAA championship meet. This year, Clinton hopes to overcome his nagging injuries and win an Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association championship. His ultimate goal is to gain All-America honors, which would place him among the top eight wrestlers in his weight class nationally. "Wrestling has taught me self-discipline and dedication to a team and to my own individual goals," Clinton said. "It's given me the opportunity to develop a tremendous work ethic, and it's taught me the importance of self-confidence. "Basically, it's helped to make me the person that I am today, for better or for worse." Brett, who wrestles at 142 pounds, is the leading candidate to win Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors. His record currently stands at a team-best 23-2. "The difference between high school wrestling and college wrestling -- it's two different worlds," Brett said. "It's almost like every match I walk out there is a state final. It feels really good to have achieved what I have. But there's still a lot more to learn and a lot more to achieve." Both Matters have a long history of high achievement. During their days at Delran High School in New Jersey, Clinton compiled a 96-19 career record, while Brett amassed a phenomenal 125-9 record. Brett attributes his decision to come to Penn to his big brother. "I pretty much always knew that I would end up here," he said. "Clinton's one of the closest persons in my life, and I always knew that because of the influence he's had on me, I'd end up at Penn." But Brett has never been one to walk in anyone else's shadow. "Brett has gone straight past me," Clinton said. "He's a two-time state champion in high school and a high school national runner-up, and he's done lots of things that I haven't. If there was ever any pressure on Brett to live up to what I've done, he's dealt with it very well and just gone by me." "I have goals to be an All-American and eventually a national champion," Brett said. "I guess [my early collegiate success] does add a little bit of pressure, but that's what the sport is about. You have to set goals, and you have to work towards them. And if you don't have goals, there's nothing to work towards." In addition to being among Penn's top wrestlers, Clinton and Brett are also recognized by their teammates and coaches as being two of the team's most enthusiastic workers. "Clinton and Brett are both very self-motivated," Quakers coach Roger Reina said. "I think that in a situation like theirs, you sometimes wonder, 'Are they doing it for themselves, or are they doing it for Dad?' But that's been one of the great things about both of them. They're very driven and they're very self-motivated." Being sidelined at the end of last season was nothing new for Clinton. The elder Matter has had four knee surgeries -- two on each knee -- and sat out his entire freshman year wrestling with knee problems. As a result, the Ivy League has granted Clinton a fifth year of eligibility. Unfortunately for Penn opponents, this means one more year of competing against both Matter brothers. "What can I tell you, they love the sport, and they want to do very well," Andrew Matter said. "And I think they will."Comments powered by Disqus
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