When Little Elm senior quarterback John Mateer threw for a school-record 497 passing yards last year against Allen, he thought that the college offers would soon follow.
But it wasn’t until after the New Year when colleges began to take notice of Mateer. Columbia University presented him with an offer on June 5 – one of three offers that were presented to Mateer that week, in addition to Central Arkansas (June 6) and Stephen F. Austin (June 10).
“I was kind of worried,” Mateer said. “I thought that I had a great year.”
All that Mateer did during the 2020 season for the Lobos – his third consecutive season as the starting quarterback for Little Elm – was break at least two school records, including the single-season mark for passing yards (2,268 yards). Breaking those records was a goal that Mateer set out to achieve ever since he glanced at the record board in the school’s weight room while he was a freshman.
Now that Mateer has his name on the wall inside Little Elm’s weight room, he has found a place to call home for the next four years. He gave a verbal commitment to play for Central Arkansas on Aug. 21.
“They had been talking to me for a while,” he said. “I went to a camp there on June 6. I really liked the campus. The drive to there was very pretty with mountains and trees. The quarterbacks coach seems like a great guy. The running backs coach had a lot of energy.
“I fell in love with Central Arkansas. My parents love the education. My dad cares about the education. I decided to pull the trigger. I have a full scholarship to play football and they will also let me play baseball. I am really excited.”
Now that Mateer no longer has to worry about where he will play in college, he can focus on helping Little Elm to rebound from a 2-8 season last year.
One of 18 returning starters for Little Elm, Mateer will be the catalyst for an explosive Lobo offense that includes senior wide receiver Dylan Evans (Air Force commit), senior Walter Roddy-White, senior Cam Taylor and senior Josh Joseph.
Little Elm kicked off the season Friday at L.D. Bell.
Mateer has high expectations for the Lobos.
"It's not even close with the team that we have this year compared to last year,” he said. “It doesn’t look the same. We compete every day in practice. We're super close. We did a lot of team bonding all summer. All of us are confident going into the season. It feels amazing."
A productive summer in the weight room will have Mateer set up for a great senior season. He said that his goal was to squat 415 pounds. He came close to that mark, getting up to as much as 405 pounds.
“I love the weight room,” he said. “I have strength and conditioning coach Bo Holcomb with me for baseball and football. I love him. He’s helped me so much. I take pride in my legs.”
When Mateer begins playing for Central Arkansas in 2022, his goal is to be named the starting quarterback for the Sugar Bears.
“I’m there to play,” he said.