It takes Trojans of all kinds to make a competitive football team. One such Trojan is Matt Boermeester, a junior college transfer from 2014 who will play his first full season as a sophomore placekicker for USC this fall.
Well placekicking must run in the family, just not school spirit. Matt's father Peter Boermeester also played kicker in college, but for UCLA. In fact, Boermeester the elder still holds the UCLA record for most consecutive games with a field goal (15) in 1978, and is ranked 8th on UCLA's career field goal list. But that's just where it starts.
Everything about Matt Boermeester's football journey is nothing short of miraculous, from his family history to his unique road to USC's football program. You see, Matt Boermeester didn't even play football in high school. When interviewed by ESPN, Matt said
"I was a baseball player in high school and I was an outfielder," and "I really wanted to go to school for that. It didn't really work out."
And an excellent outfielder he was, in a great program to boot. Matt played for Cathedral Catholic High School, where he helped them to a 2012 San Diego Division III title in his senior year.
But when college baseball didn't work out, Matt Boermeester didn't give up. Using his father - who also played for the Cleveland Browns in 1980 - as a resource, Matt turned his attention to football with some surprising results. In 2013 Matt attended Saddleback Junior College in Mission Viejo, where he made the All-Southern Californian Football Association Southern Division second team and hit 11 of 13 field goals with a long of 43 yards.
Matt Boermeester transferred to USC as a "blueshirt," in 2014, meaning under the NCAA rule he was able to start receiving student aid after beginning practice, even as a non-recruited student-athlete. His scholarship will count towards this years signing class, as well as allow him three full years of eligibility.
All that being said, Matt still faces some tremendous pressure in the upcoming season. He will be competing against teammate and rival Alex Wood for placekicking and kickoff duties.
This November, Boermeester the younger will have the chance to beat his father's alma mater on home turf. On where his father's loyalties now lie in this storied rivalry, Matt says his dad is "coming around a little bit, a little better now." However, the UCLA alum allegedly refuses to rep cardinal and gold, or anything that's bigger than "a tiny little USC logo."
That's ok. Come this fall the Coliseum will be packed with cheering fans, and whether he's wearing team colors or not, Peter Boermeester will be one of them, sitting in the stands and supporting his son.