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USA punt pays off for Matthew


Sacred Heart College is renowned for producing talented Australian Rules footballers but Matthew Hayball (Class of 2014) is kicking goals in the United States where he has been starring as a punter in college football.

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Matthew went to Sacred Heart as a boarder from Roxby Downs in 2012 and after graduating from Year 12 was drafted to AFL team Geelong where he spent three seasons and played 50 games in the Victorian Football League.

In 2018 he contacted Nathan Chapman from Prokick Australia, an academy dedicated to helping Australians learn to punt and earn athletic scholarships to universities in the US.

In 2019 Matthew gained a scholarship at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and spent three seasons there before transferring to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He will graduate in May 2024 with a Master’s in Organisational Performance (management) from Vanderbilt and a bachelor’s in Finance from FAU.

After winning several Most Valuable Player awards, Matthew was selected in the mid-year All American team of the year and has been selected for the East-West Shrine Bowl which attracts dozens of scouts for National Football League teams.

Matthew’s dad, Geoff, said it was a “huge honour” to be selected for the annual post-season event.

He said Matthew would spend the Christmas holidays in the US as he hoped to begin training for the NFL draft in April next year.

Sacred Heart College had three former students selected in this year’s AFL draft including Luke McCabe and Bodie Ryan (Class of 2023) to Hawthorn, and Ashton Moir (2022) to Carlton.

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