The sophomore from Sleepy Eye St. Mary's won the award for the second straight season. Mathiowetz reached many accomplishments this season and looks forward to the future with her teammates.
The Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s girls basketball team came into the 2019-20 season with high expectations. Although a loss in the Section 2A Championship game put a damper on the season, the Knights found many ways, on and off the court, to be successful. With a 25-3 record, the Knights inspired many to show what hard work and good chemistry can do.
The Knights were led by none other than sophomore Madison Mathiowetz. Mathiowetz was voted by Tomahawk Conference coaches as Player of the Year for the second straight season.
Last season, as a freshman, Mathiowetz averaged 26 points per game and averaged 9.5 rebounds. This season, Madison stretched out her point totals to 29.2 points per game and averaged 10.6 rebounds per game to average a double-double through out the year. In addition to her scoring ability, Mathiowetz also tallied 111 assists on the season, second-best behind teammate Reagan Severson who had 118.
Mathiowetz showed her appreciation of being voted by coaches as the top player in the Tomahawk Conference.
“It means a lot to know how supportive all the coaches are to me,” she said. “It’s an amazing honor as there are so many incredible athletes in the conference right now.”
Mathiowetz learned at a young age that success does not come easy. Often times, you will see Madison working on her game in the gym on her “off days,” late nights, and many weekends. Mathiowetz knows nothing comes easy and dedicates her time to grow her game. A lot of the work she puts in alone in the dark is showcased on gamedays.
Madison motivates herself, acknowledges plenty of others who push her to be the greatest she can possibly be, while also being humble enough to know it can be taken away at any time.
“I strive to be the greatest I can be at all times, because you never know when you could be playing your last game,” she said.
Mathiowetz also reflected on the student-athletes that had their seasons abruptly end due to the coronavirus outbreak. “My heart goes out to all these athletes, especially seniors, who have played their last school games with cancellations,” she said, “it definitely reminds you how blessed you are to be given the opportunities to play the game.”
Madison is grateful for those helping her improve on her game. Her Uncle Sean and father Matt, as well as her coaches Bruce Woitas, her aunt, Ashley Schieffert and her grandpa, Glen Mathiowetz, have helped Madison grow exponentially on and off the court.
Mathiowetz also expressed appreciation for her experiences with her AAU basketball team, the MN Rise. “MN Rise has been a big part in improving my game and making me a better player,” she said. “I am also very competitive and just really enjoy playing the game.”
While off the court and not working in the gym this winter, Madison was seen coaching a handful of Junior High basketball games. She enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the youth. The coaching opportunity also gave Madison an eye-opening perspective on how much work her coaches put in.
“My eyes were definitely opened to how much effort, patience, and teaching Coach Woitas, Schieffert, and Mathiowetz do every game and practice,” she said. The experience granted Madison a new perspective she is grateful to now have.
Madison topped her career-high on multiple occasions this season. She scored 41 points last season against Wabasso, and topped that multiple times this season, including 42 points against W-E-M in the Section 2A Championship, 47 points against MVL, and a school-record 50 points against BLHS, earlier this season.
The milestones didn’t stop there. After topping 1,000 career points last season, Mathiowetz became St. Mary’s all-time leading scorer for both girls’ and boys’ basketball. In a 72-56 victory over LCWM on Tuesday, Feb. 11, Madison broke her aunt Molly Mathiowetz’s scoring record for the girls’ basketball program at St. Mary’s. Molly’s record was 1,709 career points and after scoring 34 points, Madison surpassed her.
Not more than 17 days later, in the second round of Section 2A playoffs against BOLD, Madison passed her uncle Sean Mathiowetz’s all-time scoring record of 1,838.
After scoring a total of 817 points this season, Mathiowetz currently sits at 1,923 points as her sophomore season has come to an end.
The unfortunate thing about a sports season ending is that somebody wins and somebody loses. Mathiowetz said the season didn’t end as she and her teammates had hoped, but thanked her teammates for such a fun season.
“I am so proud to be a part of our team and have the opportunity to play with my best friends,” Madison said. The emotional end of a season always hits the average athlete, but Mathiowetz and her team now knows what it will take to achieve their dream of playing in the state tournament.
“We now know how much work it takes to get us to MSU, but we know we can’t stop there anymore,” she said. Mathiowetz applauded teammates for their efforts this season, “we played hard and left it on the court and at the end of the night, that’s all you can ask for as a teammate.”
Despite all the accomplishments this season, Mathiowetz wants her game to grow in every aspect. “Honestly, I want to improve every part of my game,” she said, “but I’d like to improve my leadership as always, also my shooting range, and ability to handle the ball better to make the easy pass to my teammates lead to a score.”
In closing, Mathiowetz thanked all of her supporters and looks forward to what the future holds. Mathiowetz congratulated Coach Bruce Woitas on being named Coach of the Year: “Without him giving me the chance to play and him believing in me, I wouldn’t be close to where I am today.
“I want to thank God for giving me the talent and opportunities to play,” said Mathiowetz as she reflected on those who have always supported her, “also my parents, my siblings and whole family who are my biggest supporters. Thanks to our fans for supporting us to the end and all the people who do what they do to make the season possible.”