BLITZ Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Matthew Schroeder

The BLITZ Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year award goes to senior Matthew Schroeder, as the Jefferson star distance runner closed his career with a pair of state championships.

POY Feature - Matthew Schroeder

POY Framed Print (11×17) – Matthew Schroeder

POY Framed Print (11×17) – Matthew Schroeder

$32.99

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • Region 8-AAAA Champion in 800, 1600 & 4×800 Relay
  • 4A State Champion in 800 & 1600
  • 4A State Runner-Up in 4×800 Relay
  • PRs: 800 (1:54.58), 1600 (4:22.39)

Matthew Schroeder picked the best possible time to run his best. He put up personal bests of 1:54 in the 800 and 4:22 in the 1600 at the state championships, taking the top spot in both events. He swept those events at the region championships as well, and was part of the 4×800 region title winning relay and state runner-up.

This was the epic ending to Schroeder’s career. Here’s how he’s fared in his distance solo events:

800: State Champion (’22), 4th (’21); Region Champion (’21, ’22)
1600: State Champion (’22), 7th (’21); Region Champion (’22), Runner-Up (’21)
3200: Region Champion (’21), 6th (’19)

That’s not even mentioning his accolades in cross country:

2021: State 5th; Region Champion
2020: State 9th; Region 5th
2019: State 8th; Region Runner-Up
2018: State 21st; Region 11th

That gives him a total of four region titles and a pair of state titles to boot. What a career!

VOTING RESULTS

  1. Matthew Schroeder – 62 pts (11 1st-place votes)
  2. Lambdin Hardy – 41.5 pts (1)
  3. Buck Ledford – 25.75 pts (2)
  4. Brad Chosewood – 20 pts (1)
  5. Turner Grimmett – 13.75 pts
  6. Cam Wilson – 10.75 pts
  7. Trey Garnto – 10 pts

Voting included our 17-person panel made up of sports reporters, writers, video producers, former coaches, players, GHSA officials, and sports experts. The voting is Heisman-style, with the following points system:
1st place votes: 5 pts; 2nd: 3 pts; 3rd: 2 pts; 4th: 1 pts; 5th-6th: 0.5 pts
; 7th-8th 0.25 pts

Matthew Schroeder earned 11 1st-place votes, though four different athletes showed up at the top of voter’s lists. Schroeder has just a couple of votes that were outside first or second.

HISTORY OF ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

  • 2022 – Matthew Schroeder – Jefferson SR
  • 2021 – Malaki Starks – Jefferson JR
  • 2020 – Shannon Segars – Commerce SR
  • 2019 – Eli Morris – Jefferson SR
  • 2018 – Guy Gober – Rabun County JR
  • 2017 – Zatrick Pearce – Tallulah Falls SR
  • 2016 – Jay Acker – Commerce SR
  • 2015 – Austin Pierce – Lumpkin County JR
  • 2014 – Charlie Woerner – Rabun County SO
  • 2013 – DiKerrio Ramsey – Commerce SR
  • 2012 – Jocquise Lloyd – Hayesville SR
  • 2011 – Taylor Guthrie – Lumpkin County SR
  • 2010 – Andrew Seay – Habersham Central SR

Schroeder becomes the second straight Jefferson athlete and third overall to win the hardware. He is the first distance runner to win AOY since 2018 (Guy Gober). Those two are the only distance stars to win the award.

WHO WILL WIN IT NEXT YEAR?

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