High School Sports

2011 High School football preview: Heights' Matt Reed

Heights senior quarterback Matt Reed hopes to lead his team to another championship. (Aug. 11, 2011)
Heights senior quarterback Matt Reed hopes to lead his team to another championship. (Aug. 11, 2011) The Wichita Eagle

Four quarterbacks, each looking for something more -- another championship, a shot at starting, a full season, a chance to lead. Here's a look at four of the area's premier QB.

Heights coach Rick Wheeler doesn't gush or spew superlatives about senior quarterback Matt Reed. When he talks about the span of Reed's ability, Wheeler is talking about his qualities.

Quality No. 1: Reed is outstanding when he carries the ball — he had 1,084 rushing yards — but he's not a run-only quarterback. Three weeks after becoming the starting quarterback as a sophomore, Reed completed 2 of 4 passes for two touchdowns to beat Manhattan in the Class 6A playoffs. He also put Heights into the 6A title game in 2010 by completing 8 of 11 passes, including the game-winning touchdown with 24 seconds remaining.

Quality No. 2: Reed calls the offense. Yes, the coaching staff calls the plays, but it's an option offense. It all comes down to Reed's reads, Reed's decisions. Wheeler said he puts more responsibility on Reed than any past quarterback.

"His decision-making ability is the single trait that defines him the most," said Wheeler, whose team was 13-0 and won the 6A title last season. "He's able to make a decision and live with it. He doesn't make all the right decisions, like I don't. When he makes a bad read, he sticks with it and still gets yards."

Quality No. 3: Reed separates himself from other athletes because of his competitiveness.

"He has such a drive to be successful, that it helps to make him a natural leader," Wheeler said.

Reed admits he's highly competitive. Whether it's wrestling (he won the 6A 160-pound title in February) or school (he got straight As as a junior).

"I don't like to lose at all," Reed said. "I work hard. If I see someone working harder than me, it means I need to work harder. I always want to be first."

He's focused on improving his passing game, working on throwing techniques footwork and more accurate passes.

It's all geared to finishing first — he wants Heights to defend its title.

"I probably want it the most out of everybody," he said. "It's just a great feeling and to be able to do it twice... "

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