Tiger of the Week: Matt Labus

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Matthew Labus, Football

  • Senior
  • Major: Economics
  • Hometown: Westfield, IN
  • Position: Quarterback

TDP: What does it mean to be a DePauw athlete?

Matt: To me, a DePauw athlete is someone who has the willpower to buy in to the team while holding teammates accountable to do the same. In my opinion, team chemistry can make or break a team, and the tightest knit groups tend to have the most success. DePauw athletes work extremely hard on and off the field, and play sports because they are naturally competitive and passionate. Division III athletics are by no means easy, and DePauw athletics prepares students to succeed in anything they want to do in life.

TDP: What training would you contribute to your success?

Matt: For me, I owe the majority of my success to my parents and teammates. From a young age I was taught the importance of priorities and working hard to earn things in life from my parents. Keeping my priorities straight has allowed me to nearly perfect my time management skills, which is crucial for any athlete. I constantly try to make time to be better physically and mentally. My teammates serve as my primary motivation to be the best player I can be. I work hard because I do not want to let my teammates down, and they know that. Mistakes happen in any sport, but the most successful athletes are those who have a short memory and make the next play the best play.

TDP: How do you balance school and football?

Matt: For all of my life sports have always came after my family, friends, and school. I balance school and football by simply allocating all the time I need for school, and then any left over time can be used for football and hanging out with my friends. I always have to make a little time for Netflix/HBO as well – shoutout to “Game of Thrones.” Football is extremely important to me and always will be, but I recognize that there are bigger and better things in life coming for all of us.

TDP: Why did you wear the #32 at Monon? And what did it mean to you?

Matt: Earlier this season, Evan Hansen, #32 on Wabash, a star middle linebacker for Wabash, took his own life. I had the pleasure to be one of Evan’s teammates for over 10 years playing football, baseball, and basketball with him from 3rd-12th grade. I wore #32 for him. His father reached out to me and asked if I would honor him in some way during the 125th Monon Bell game, and I accepted without hesitation. Evan was well-known for being one of the hardest-working and toughest players at Wabash College. He was one of Wabash’s best players for four years, and was feared by many coaches in Division 3 football. But to me, he was my friend. He was one of the most selfless and respectable person I have ever played sports with. You form a special bond with the people you play sports with and we were like brothers on the football field. I never got the chance to actually play against him, but the best way I could honor his life was to play with #32 on my jersey with a torn ACL and compete with everything I had left in the tank. The Monon Bell game is a huge rivalry, but last Saturday Evan was not only in hearts of the Wabash players, but was also in my heart. It was an emotional day for many reasons, but I will certainly say that wearing Ev’s number was one of the most important moments of my athletic career.