Brownstown Central’s Matthew Nierman credits his toughness on the gridiron and hardwood to working on his family’s farm, near Tampico on State Road 39.
When he isn’t playing football or basketball, Nierman works with steers.
“I show cattle; that’s my day job pretty much,” Nierman said. “That usually throws people off about me. I’ve always wanted to have a cattle farm. People are usually surprised at how strong I am from working on the farm and pulling around 1,400 pound steers. I guarantee that made me a lot tougher.”
This fall, Nierman decided to go out for the football team for the first time. He has seen significant playing time at left corner and slot.
“A couple kids on the basketball team decided to join the football team, and one day after weights (class) I talked to a couple football players about it,” Nierman said. “The next period, I talked to coach (Reed) May and told him I wanted to play football.
“Everybody told me how intimidating coach May, and all the coaches, were, and I think it isn’t true at all. I think the coaching staff is great here. At first, it was kind of hard. Once I started learning the rules, it began making more sense. I think I’m starting to get the hang of it.”
This season, Nierman has 141 rushing yards and two touchdowns and 71 yards receiving with a pair of catching scores.
On the defense, Nierman leads the team with three interceptions.
“I have to focus on not fumbling the ball,” Nierman said of his improvements.”I have a bad tendency of fumbling the ball. On defense, I need to make sure I don’t get beat deep and read my assignments.”
In the winter, Nierman plays guard for the Braves’ basketball team.
Nierman said he has played basketball for as long as he can remember.
“I’ve been playing basketball my whole life,” he said. “I like the competitiveness of the game. I just love playing.”
Last season, Nierman mostly played in a sixth-man spot and will likely see significant playing time for the 2015-16 season.
Nierman mostly plays at the point and isn’t afraid to pull-up for a 3-pointer.
“I will miss the competitiveness. I love competing against other people and the physicality of it. In basketball you can’t hit anyone when you get mad; in football you get mad and can hit somebody.”
The senior has big goals for both football and basketball.
“I would like to win a sectional in both sports,” Nierman said. “We might even go a little bit further. We’re going to have to work hard. I think we have enough talent to do it on both teams.”
In his final year at Brownstown Central, Nierman is working while studying to become an electrical lineman.
What: Brownstown Central (5-2) at Silver Creek (4-3)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Silver Creek field
Last outing: Brownstown Central def. Clarksville 76-0, North Harrison def. Silver Creek 32-12
Most recent meeting: Brownstown Central won 38-14 on Oct. 10, 2014
Series past 30 years: Brownstown Central 4-0
Parents: Mike and Rachel Nierman
Siblings: Mallory and Michala NIerman
Sports: Football, one year; basketball, four years
Plans after high school:Bbecome an electrical lineman
Favorite food: Pancakes
Favorite TV show: “Family Guy”
Favorite singer/musician: Eric Church
Favorite movie: “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Favorite team/athlete: Indianapolis Colts, Andrew Luck
The Brownstown Central High School varsity football coaches have announced awards for Friday’s 76-0 win over Clarksville.
Earning honors are Justin Donnells, Offensive Back MVP; Clay Wilkerson, Offensive Line MVP; Lendon Underwood, Defensive Line/Inside Linebacker MVP;Devin Stuckwisch, Defensive Back/Dime MVP; Tristan Robinson, Special Teams MVP; Julian Deaton, Scout Team MVP; Wilkerson, Derek Rieckers, black jersey winners.
Q: Why do you want to become a lineman after high school?
A: “I’ve always been interested in that kind of stuff. My grandfather was an electrician, and I don’t’ have a problem with heights.”
Q: What will you miss most about high school athletics?
A: “I will miss the competitiveness. I love competing against other people and the physicality of it.”
Q: Why do you play multiple sports?
A: “Probably (to be) my teammates — that’s been the best part of playing sports. Everybody is very nice and welcoming on both the football and basketball teams.”