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Produced by Almaden Valley Rotary Club

Matt Blea Honorary All Star

An article in the 2010 Game Program by Dick Sparrer

Matt Blea was destined to play in the annual Charlie Wedemeyer High School All-Star Football Game this (next) summer.

After all, he was the best player on his football team at San Jose Academy, and he was one of the best players in the West Valley Division of the Blossom Valley Athletic League last fall.

But Blea won't play for the South team in tonight's summer classic, and it has nothing at all to do with his playing ability but everything to do with a severe head injury he suffered on the final day of the 2009 season.

Blea struck his head on the turf at San Jose City College during the annual Big Bone Game on Thanksgiving Day between San Jose and Lincoln. Blea collapsed and nearly died as a result of the injury that was described as a fractured skull and whiplash-type injury. He was put into a drug-induced coma and underwent brain surgery.

But just as he was outstanding on the football field, he was remarkable in his recovery. He told his father that he would walk out of the hospital on his own, and a month after his surgery that's just what he did.

Blea is unable to play tonight because of the effects of his injury, but he is certainly an all-star. He was named to the all-league first team in his division and was the Most Outstanding Utility Player in the West Valley circuit.

Matt Blea is an honorary member of the South All-Star team tonight, and the all-star game staff would like to recognize him for his talent as a football player, and for his courage and tenacity both on and off the field.