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August 2, 2019 by Nancy Delano Bachus (Register to contact)

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August 8, 2012 by Elaine Maes (Register to contact)


Football: Rishard Matthews

April 16, 2009 by Victor Mendez (Register to contact)

After all, the closest any blue-chip football players usually get to their school is when they pass through the city on their way to Santa Ana Mater Dei.

"I thought he was a coach," said senior Joaquin Avalos, the second-year starting quarterback.

Avalos was right about one thing: Matthews has looked like a man among boys since his arrival from New Mexico, where he was considered one of the state's best returning players.

Since sitting out Saddleback's first game while waiting to become eligible, Matthews has intercepted a state-leading nine passes and scored 10 touchdowns, including eight on pass receptions.

The Roadrunners, who have not won a playoff game since 1988, are 4-3 overall, 2-0 in the Golden West League.

More important, teammates say, Matthews has improved everybody's work ethic.

"He has really made us work harder," said senior Steven Kroth, a returning starter at defensive end. "We know we have a weapon over there."

Matthews, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior who plays receiver, safety and returns kicks, said he moved to Southern California so he could re-join his father, Andre, who recently retired as a master sergeant in the Marine Corps.

They had lived together in the San Joaquin Valley while Andre was stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore, but as Andre approached retirement, the next phase of his life appeared unsettled.

"I wasn't sure where we wanted to be, but I knew we needed to get out of there," Andre said. "Besides, I didn't like some of the friends he was hanging out with."

In February of his sophomore year, they decided Rishard should move in with his 22-year-old sister, Avien, who was then stationed at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico.

Matthews had not played tackle football since the sixth grade, but it didn't take long for his athleticism to shine through. During his junior season at Clovis (N.M.), he scored 20 touchdowns, among them a school-record 12 on receptions, and helped the Wildcats reach the state championship game. He was an all-state selection at receiver.

After starring for the Clovis basketball team last winter and performing well at spring and summer football camps, Matthews verbally committed to Texas El Paso in July.

Saddleback High School News From Around The Web

‘Racial’ signs at football game anger Segerstrom High School community  OCRegister

Estancia High School adjusts football schedule after delay in replacing home-field turf  Los Angeles Times

Gang member gets 31 years to life for killing outside Saddleback High in 1993  OCRegister

Sonora Elementary School salutes alumni as they graduate from high school  Los Angeles Times

‘Nobody could be more worthy,’ documentarian says of student who grew up homeless in Orange County  Los Angeles Times

Santa Ana Unified School District Celebrates 11.5% Gain in Graduation Rates, Surpassing Both State and Orange County Averages  VoiceofOC

Woman arrested on suspicion of killing Santa Ana drumline teacher in hit-run crash  KABC-TV

1994 California Proposition 187 sparked a movement, my awakening  Los Angeles Times

Photos: Orange County valedictorians for the Class of 2019  OCRegister

CIF soccer champs lack funds for rings  OCRegister

Orange County schools join student walkouts to protest gun violence  OCRegister

Valley High School breaks ground on athletic complex  OCRegister

Woman Sought in Santa Ana Hit-and-Run That Left Music Instructor Critically Injured  KTLA

Where are 2017 Orange County visual arts students going to college?  OCRegister

Outstanding music teachers  OCRegister

Woman who got face tattoo, changed hair pink sentenced to 6 years in hit-and-run death  OCRegister

Ovations for April 16  OCRegister

Teacher Naomi Perez Pleads Guilty to Sex with 17-Year-Old Student  CBS News

OC registered sex offender accused of engaging in sex act with 7-year-old relative  KABC-TV

Artist of the Year 2019: Dance nominees  OCRegister

Where are 2017 Orange County dance students going to college?  OCRegister

$20K reward offered to find hit-run driver who left Santa Ana man on life support  KABC-TV

Off the streets and into the OR: a new UCLA doctor turns his life around  Los Angeles Times

Where are 2017 Orange County vocal music students going to college?  OCRegister

Orange County Prosecutors Covered Up Misuse of Informants  The Intercept

Woman killed in crash known for big heart  OCRegister

Special report: O.C. teacher dismissals  OCRegister

Cesar Chavez Day event draws O.C. residents, groups  OCRegister

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