Congratulations to Tempe Prep senior Jacob Matsumoto for being named the AIA Scholar-Athlete of the Year from among the 150 Arizona 1A-3A high schools.
Jacob has excelled academically in Tempe Prep’s rigorous liberal arts education and is a National Merit Finalist. A three-sport athlete throughout high school, Jacob competes in varsity football, soccer, and track. As a two-way starter in football, he earned offensive Most Valuable Player as he accumulated 14 yards per carry, with 92 carries for over 1,300 yards. Tempe Prep’s Athletic Director David Brittain noted, “Jacob also had 16 of our team’s touchdowns throughout the season. There is no doubt that the hardest worker on our team was Jacob, our senior running back and free safety who fought through injuries and found a way to lead our team into the 2A playoffs once again. What makes this even more dramatic of a feat is that Jacob is perhaps an even more recognized and decorated student-athlete in winter soccer and on the track and field team.”
In soccer, Tempe Prep coach Adam Potter refers to Jacob as “every coach’s dream of having a shutdown defender that you can always depend on to take out the other team’s top scorer.” Some of Jacob’s soccer stats are that he helped lead the Knights to six shutouts, he mentored a brand new backline, and he had eleven assists as a center back. Jacob was selected as 1st Team All Region and was named Defensive Player of the Year in the conference. Coach Potter also notes, “Jacob is a man of integrity. He is respectful and caring and has a servant heart. In short, a person who possesses these qualities is a person who I would trust to lead young people.”
In addition to academic and athletic excellence, Jacob has also earned the U.S. Congressional Award Gold Medal with over 400 hours of service in the community. He has volunteered with the Family Promise homeless program, Feed My Starving Children, Faith Through Works, Project C.U.R.E., and the Tempe Boys and Girls Club.
At Tempe Prep, Jacob competed with the school’s FRC Robotics Team, helping to lead the team to a regional championship, top three in the state, and even to 5th place in the FRC World Championships in St. Louis.
Jacob received numerous college acceptances and academic scholarship offers across the country. He is excited to attend the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame this fall.
In Jacob’s acceptance speech for the AIA award at the University of Phoenix Stadium, he noted: “This year has been incredible. Thanks to the incredible dedication of my parents, my coaches, and fellow athletes who have worked countless hours to achieve this success. The relationships that I have created in this athletic experience have been very special to me.”
According to Jacob, he benefited greatly from attending high school at Tempe Prep, where he could have the opportunity to participate in such a variety of activities and sports. He noted that one of the best aspects of attending middle school and high school at Tempe Prep is that “everyone is encouraged to participate in everything they can, and it allows them to interact with so many people you normally wouldn’t meet and experience incredible relationships.”
Tempe Preparatory Academy is a tuition-free public charter school in Tempe for students in grades 6-12 that provides a nationally acclaimed liberal arts education based on the Great Books of Western Civilization with an exceptional math, science, foreign language, humanities, and fine arts curriculum. Tempe Prep has been recognized by the Arizona Board of Regents as having the highest percentage of college graduates in the state and has been named the #1 high school in Arizona by Newsweek (America’s Top High Schools 2016). For more information about enrolling at Tempe Prep, visit the school’s website at tempeprep.org.