Matthew Peterson: A living model of perseverance


courtesy of Matthew Peterson

Senior Matthew Peterson (shown above) just days after his concussion

Concussions are fairly common in youth sports.  Most concussions aren’t severe and don’t require an athlete to miss an extensive period of time, but there are exceptions.  Elder Senior Matthew “PT” Peterson falls into that category.

“On Saturday, May 14th, 2016, I had a lacrosse game in The Pit.  It was senior day, so coach asked if any varsity guys wanted to play in the second half of the JV game.  I was thinking this was good because I could get a few goals before we played the varsity game,”  Peterson said.

So Peterson played in the second half of the JV game, but unfortunately Matthew’s lacrosse career would end on that day.

“I forget what happened leading up to the concussion, but I’ve seen the video of the game and I could see that when I came up from scooping the ball, I was head checked causing my head to jerk up violently.  I was knocked out,” Peterson said.

Peterson was unconscious for the next five hours and when he woke up he was in an extreme amount of pain.

“The doctors put me in a neck brace when I was half conscious because I told them my neck hurt and they told me that if I moved my neck too much I could’ve been paralyzed.  I also remember Coach Nugent telling me, “This wasn’t supposed to happen PT”,” Peterson said.

Today Peterson still deals with symptoms from his post concussion syndrome.  However, he has made exceptional progress over the last six months.

“My summer was pretty awful because I couldn’t do what I wanted to do.  I had to sleep more to alleviate the headaches and I was limited in all the things that I loved to do like running, hiking, backyard sports,”  PT told me.

I have broken multiple bones and let me tell you, I would rather have broken ten more than have to endure something like this

— Matthew Peterson

Obviously, Matthew can’t play lacrosse for Elder this year, but he still participates in The Leadership and Initiative club, The Spanish club, and A Better Business club (which Peterson started this school year).

Additionally, Peterson is the captain of the bowling team.

“The bowling team is looking very good this year.  We only lost two starters from last year and we’ve done nothing but get better.  Our coach has told us that he has not been more confident in any other team in all his years of coaching.  Our starting lineup includes myself, Ethan Winkler, Ollie Hand, Conner Brocker, and junior Nathan Johnson and looks very strong so far.  Right now, we are focused on winning all of our GCL matches and tournaments.  Of course, our goal is to win state,” Peterson said.

The 2015-2016 Elder Bowling team.
photo from The 2015-2016 Elder Bowling team. Matthew Peterson is in front row first from the left.

Peterson also told me that this bowling season means so much to him because he will never be able to compete in another sport at Elder.  You can find the Elder Bowling schedule at

It’s amazing to realize how hard it was for Matthew to go from a normal kid to having a serious brain injury.  The fact that he has had to overcome so many obstacles, yet he is still going to bowl shows us that we can learn so many valuable life lessons from his story.