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Jan 2015 - Danny Mateja

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Jan 2015 - Danny Mateja


Danny Mateja - January Athlete of the Month





Midland, MI






Zionsville Hockey Club and Team Indiana

July 24, 1997



Chosen Attribute:  Teamwork

Why is this important to you?   

This attribute is important to me because it builds character, friendships, and invaluable life skills.  It was an honor to witness the aftermath of dedicated hard work and inner persistence my team brought to a winning season. I find it very rewarding to work hard with teammates to achieve a goal. With our 2013 roller hockey team we wanted to be the first Indiana team to win a National Championship, which we were, and in 2014 we repeated.

When I look back at videos and pictures, I am not quick to see one player dominating the ice, I am more intrigued by the passing and assisting and celebrations after the shot with my teammates. I am then drawn back into that game with a smile on my face, remembering the play, remembering a message given in the locker room that made a difference that day.

Favorite Scripture verse:     

Philippians 3:14 - I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

This verse is important to me because it reminds me that the competitive prize is how we honor God with what he has given us. It reminds me to be persistent toward achieving goals as long as we do it with integrity. You can be determined all you want but if it derails you from what is right it’s not worth it. It reminds me that when I fail I can try again, and again. So I play hockey and when I’m told to reach higher I usually think of either trying to score more or just generally play harder. I feel that the same goes for Christ. I’m sure many of us just kind of go through the motions and do the simple stuff like going to church or praying every once in awhile. As Christians we must realize that we need to reach higher when it comes to our faith. Instead of just going through the motions like just going to church, you should pray every night, and join a group to help support your efforts.

What else should we know about you?      

)? I am a senior at Zionsville High School and attend St. Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church. Family is important to me and I love spending time with my dad and mom Tim & Michele, Sister Morgan (15), and our labs Zef, and Letty. I also find spending time with my grandparents relaxing and purposeful.  During the holidays I will again be at Gleaners Food Pantry stocking shelves and taking boxes out for clients. At the Caring Center I do some work to put together holiday boxes for clients and then at our parish collect donations before and after church for the food drives every other month. I am involved in FCA, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta – Honors Math Club, and a teacher’s aid for AP Chemistry II.

I have had my share of incredible experiences and have been challenged often in making the right choice as a competitive athlete. Earlier this year I told my parents I wanted to forgo my last two years of AAA Hockey eligibility to start college and not delay an offer to engineering school. For me it was courageous to look at the big picture. I finally realized that I really did not know many kids in high school because of all the traveling I did in the past. I wanted to stay at home and play for the high school my senior year. I wanted to get to know more people, and spend time in the community. I knew I was risking an opportunity to continue playing juniors. But playing at the top of my game and being seen for what I have worked so hard for in hockey and academics has been so rewarding. Our team is currently ranked number one in the Hoosier League regular season standings of the Indiana State High School Hockey Association.

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