Sunday, May 27, 2018

Athlete of the Week: Matt Porter

ANTHONY ZUCARO ’16

STAFF WRITER

As expected, the Trinity College Football Team has once again demolished another NESCAC opponent as they extend their undefeated record to 5-0. Part of this success has been due to a strong offense, but while many accredit a team’s success to quarterbacks or receivers, few mention the importance of the five men standing in the middle of the field snapping the ball, the offensive line. Known for their tough-as-nails playstyle, the Trinity Offensive line is incredibly imposing, and a large contributor to their success is senior tri-captain, and four-year starter Matthew Porter. Porter normally plays at center, but has also performed strongly at the tackle position. Thanks to him and the rest of the offensive line, the Trinity offense is has averaged about 423 yards per game, and nearly 30 points in their first five games.

While many athletes find their inspiration from a parent or an athlete, Porter has the best of both worlds within his father, former NFL fullback Donnell Bennett. “My father was my favorite athlete growing up because people always told him he wouldn’t make it and he won a national championship in college and also played in the NFL.” His father’s fighting spirit on the run certainly helped to set up Porter for his successes. The offensive line gets especially hands on in the run game, as Trinity has done a good job of creating holes for their runners all season. The offense has 902 total rushing yards, averaging around 180 rushing yards per game.

Porter has been playing since he was in middle school in Chicago before he made his way to Trinity, but his time in prep school were also formative years. “I had good high school competition. I also attended prep school, and that definitely prepared me because I played against some talent from places outside of Chicago. My league in Chicago was pretty tough and we also played suburban teams who were able to focus more on sports.” While the run has been strong, the offensive line has done a fantastic job protecting their starting quarterback Sonny Puzzo ’16, having allowed just six sacks all year.    

With a strong running and passing game, the football team is looking to recreate one of Porter’s favorite sports memories, the year they won the 2012 NESCAC Championship. “My favorite sports moment was winning the NESCAC Championship my freshman year, my first time winning a championship since I started playing in 8th grade.” After helping beat Wesleyan three years ago, Porter and the team are hoping to achieve greatness once again. Despite a shaky 2014 season at 5-3, Porter is confident that this year the squad has a chance to win it again. “I think we have a great chance to go 8-0 and win it all as long as we stay healthy and focused. We have a very talented and hungry team”. If the last five games are considered, it looks like Porter has a good hunch. Be sure to support the Bantams as they travel up to Vermont to take on Middlebury into on a chilly Halloween game.

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