CLOSER LOOK: Poly’s Matthew Hubert
Take a closer look at Riverside Poly senior Matthew Hubert and you see a guy who has been through a lot on a football field.
As the Bears’ second- or third-choice running back each of the last two seasons, Hubert has five career touchdowns and 625 yards on 140 carries.
The 5-foot-8, 180-pound senior has been an unsung engine helping to drive consecutive postseason appearances with his non-stop hustle and clear determination for the Bears (5-5 overall, 4-1 Inland Valley League), a dominant force in the CIF-SS Inland Division last season up until running into Redlands East Valley (the eventual State Division 2 champion) in the final.
His consistency has been his strength, as Hubert has played in all 10 games so far this season. He rewarded the coaching staff with his first 100-yard performance in a loss to Rubidoux in Week 4.
We caught up with Hubert after Poly defeated crosstown rival Riverside North, 13-7, in a Week 10 game on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.
FOMB: The team struggled to get to .500 this season. What’s in mean to be back in the postseason?
Hubert: “It’s a big moment for sure. We started out flat but we came through, and it’s almost like a stepping stone again, another stepping stone that we’ve had to find, another obstacle that we’ve had to overcome because we have a lot of injuries. We have a lot of people that are missing. We’ll rebound from all the adversity, and I think we’ve shown that we can rebound from it. It’s whether we want to or not.”
FOMB: How has your role changed this season?
MH: “I’m not a verbal leader. I’m a the lead-by-example type so I try to lead people through what I do, my actions, working hard and trying to get other people to watch me work hard. That’s my role. The other one is support, and trying to keep everyone level-headed.”
FOMB: As a leader, what does your experience tell you about what to expect this week?
MH: “It just depends and our week of practice. I expect us to do very well. It’ll be another test. We’ve been tested all year and it’ll be another test. I expect us to pass it.”
FOMB: Aside from the overall success of the team, what’s else is different this year?
MH: “The biggest change has been our mentality toward each other. We came in kind of selfish, and now we’re rallying around each other and it’s becoming a lot more of a family.”