FBCA's Matta returns to field after horrific ATV accident
Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, right?
That's a tough lesson for any high school student when faced with adversity.
Ryan Matta has faced adversity over the past year, which nearly derailed his football experience at Fort Bend Christian Academy.
But like any adult would say, it could have been worse.
Matta was spending the summer in Lebanon with his family two summers ago. He couldn't have imagined what would happen next, while having fun on an ATV.
"I was driving an ATV and going around a turn. There was water or oil on the ground and I drifted. A car was coming towards me. I had to make a quick turn and to keep from falling out I had to put my hand down. The ATV landed on my hand a dragged it along the ground."
The pain, frustration and uncertainty would plague him the next year-and-a-half. He would eventually lose two fingers.
"Throughout last year, I had 11 surgeries," he said. "Just the process of trying to regain my strength and actually being able to function without two fingers was not just a physical thing, but a mental thing. Sometimes I'm just worried about being judged."
He couldn't even think about touching the field, witnessing a rough season from the sidelines. FBCA couldn't finish due to lack of players.
The fog has lifted for the Eagles with new coach Jordan Black guiding the ship. FBCA won their first game 53-52 over Brazos High School. He was back on the field helping his squad.
"I actually have a club and they wrap it up," he said. "It's really harder to tackle because I have two less fingers to grab. I have to do a full tackle and get better positioned."
The fog has also lifted on Matta.
"After the accident, I just had to be more confident and not worry about what other people thought. It really changed my whole mindset about life going through high school. I also learned how to lean on friends, family and coaches for support. If I need help, I know they have my back."
He's not 100-percent comfortable with his prosthetic, hiding it at times, but his future is bright and his attitude is magnetic.
"I don't plan on playing football in college," he said. "But I am looking at a future in medicine."
His sense of humor is also back.
"This makes for a killer college essay," he grins. "That's for sure."