Do you spell this story with one or two ts? Should it be Mat or should it be Matt? The answer is both. Matt on a Mat is what it’s all about.
How does the score 80-0 sound to you? If you are a wrestling fan, it probably means that a given competitor was undefeated for two seasons in a row. If that wrestler was a high school athlete, two straight state championships without a loss would be the result.
Puyallup high fans will be quick to put a name to the question posed. That name is Matt Voss, a 220 pound Viking wrestler and the author of a “perfect” record at the past two Washington State High School “Mat Classics” held in the Tacoma Dome.
In March Matt captured the 220 pound title in the 4A division by defeating Mason Ju of Spokane’s Mead high with a fall at the 2:45 mark. A year earlier he defeated Kyle Lesmeister of Wenatchee 5-2 to win that same title.
One other title Matt has achieved is the TAC’s Athlete of the Year award in the sport of wrestling. The TAC found so many outstanding wrestlers and state champions at its Winter Sports recognition ceremony that Matt had to share that honor with three state champions who had won three other championships in three different weight classifications.
When he was young Matt played football and some baseball and Soccer. At age five or six his Dad asked him if he wanted to try “this sport called wrestling”? Matt gave it a try but didn’t get serious about it until junior high. He met the captain of the wrestling team there and they began to compete with one another. Trent Nivala was that person and a friendship that started as combative developed into one of mutual respect and friendship when they became high school team-mates in Puyallup. When Matt won his first state championship, Trent became determined to win a state crown himself. It was only fitting that he won the 285 pound crown with a 9-5 decision over Daniel Vi of Kentridge in his senior year.
Voss also played football for Puyallup where he was captain of the team and a three-year letterman. Voss and Nivala anchored the Viking defensive line together. His athletic director states: “His standing within our school community is beyond compare and his leadership skills both on and off the field are of the highest standard”.
George Mason University will be recipient of the talent Voss brings to campus, particularly in the sport of wrestling, He carries a 3.1 gpa while carrying 5 Advanced Placement Classes in English, Statistics, Chemistry, Psychology and Government. He should have stayed with baseball...he’s got all the bases covered!