Leonard Matt may be one of the most diverse athletes in the history of Eunice High sports.
From 1956 through 1958, Charles Leonard Matt was a key performer for the Eunice High Bobcats in football, basketball, and track.
In football, Matt first played end for the legendary coach Faize Mahfouz and was a two-time All-District selection at that position as well as being named an All-State Honorable Mention selection at end.
By the start of the 1957 football season, Mahfouz decided to move Matt from end to halfback and Matt responded by setting a Southwest Louisiana rushing record with 228 yards in 25 carries, including touchdowns of 67 and 25 yards in a victory over Marion High School.
Matt ended the 1957 season by rushing for 941 yards in 61/2 games.
He was named the Most Valuable Player in District 4-AA as the Bobcats captured the district title.
Matt was also named to the All-State Class AA Team as a halfback.
The Cats defeated Reserve in the state quarterfinals, but lost to Morgan City by a 28-14 margin in the state semifinals.
With the football season having ended, Matt joined the Bobcat basketball team.
He excelled in the sport, leading the team in scoring with 284 points as the center for the 17-3 Bobcats.
He earned first team All-District honors after leading the district in scoring.
Matt was named to the All-Southwest first team and earned an All-State honor on the third team.
Track was next on the agenda for Matt, who ran the 440 and the relays in the state meet.
He placed fifth with a 10.6 time in the 100-yard dash at the State Meet. He was also a member of the 440 and 880 relay teams.
In that season’s parish meet, Matt tossed the shot put and threw the javelin.
Upon graduation, Matt had offers from several schools, including SLI (now USL), Southeastern, McNeese, as well as interest from Texas A&M and three junior colleges.
He decided on SLI, where he played football at halfback and ran sprints and relays in track, earning letters in both sports.
Matt made the President’s Honor Roll at SLI in his first semester and later earned his master’s degree at McNeese State.
He also attended LSU for two years working on his doctorate degree.
Matt served in the Army Reserve as well.
Matt began his coaching career at Landry High School in Lake Charles and later enjoyed success at Lake Arthur High School.
He returned to Eunice High in 1971, coaching football and track for five years, claiming a district track title.
He moved to Central Middle School as an assistant principal and later was named the principal at Eunice Elementary.
He served as a School Board member in Acadia Parish for 12 years.
Matt and his wife Vera currently live in Iowa.
Matt joins former Eunice coaches Joe Nagata and Faise Mahfouz as the first three inductees into the newly established EHS Sports Hall of Fame.