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Alton High School & Alton Middle School

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Alton High School & Alton Middle School

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Alton High School & Alton Middle School

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2 months ago

Alton High School's Matthew Daniel signs with St. Leo - Riverbender.com - 5/31/2018

Alton High School's Matthew Daniel signs with St. Leo

by Steven Spencer

published May 31 2018 9:40 AM

updated May 31 2018 9:42 AM

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ALTON - Alton High School’s Matthew Daniel signed his letter of intent Wednesday afternoon to join the men’s swim team St. Leo University in St. Leo, Florida.

Daniel’s coach, Nancy Miller, said he’s been an outstanding athlete for quite some time with adding that it’s been a such an incredible opportunity to watch him grow and compete.

“I remember his early days of his career when Matthew was the last one in the lane and had to be reminded a lot of what we were doing,” Miller said. “Then suddenly we went to a couple of meets when he was eight years old and a switch flipped. Suddenly his understanding of what we were doing and his desire to compete just exploded.”

Miller said there a lot of things that make Matthew a champion, one of them being his impressive work ethic.

“He works and works and works,” Miller said. “He hates to lose, that’s such a great attribute of his. He’ll do anything to not be in that position and they say all the greatest athletes share that attribute. If you combine intellect with talent and work ethic the sky is certainly the limit much, as it is Matthew.”

 

 

Matthew said he wouldn’t be as successful of an athlete if it weren’t for the help of his coaches.

“I started swimming at Summers Port just for something to do and I really liked it, then I started swimming for the Tidalwaves, which Miller coached,” he said. “After I went to state my first year I really got into it and just kept going.”

Although Matthew remains modest about his accomplishments as an athlete, which includes the most records in Tidalwave history at 26, his friends, family and coaches couldn’t appear to be more proud than during Wednesday’s signing.

Looking back on Matthew’s history as swimmer Miller highlighted a few impressive successes and an incredible amount of broken records.

“I remember one time swimming in Hannibal and he had broken his foot and I helped on to the starting block and he would compete. After a five-minute race, a young man who he had beaten said, ‘oh my gosh his foot is even broken and he still beat me.’ That encapsulates who Matthew is as a competitor,” Miller noted. “

Matthew added that he’s excited to be continuing his athletic and academic career at St. Leo and being able to attend a school near his grandparents.


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