Villanova's Matt Sczcur: Champion For Life

Phil AndrewsCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2009

Hey Matt Szczur, you and your Villanova teammates just beat the Montana Grizzlies 23-21 to win the Football Championship Sub Division National Title, what are you going to do next?  This much we do know, he’s certainly not going to Disney World.

You see, young Matt has a more pressing engagement. Back in November he found out he was a perfect match as a bone marrow donor for a one-year-old little girl with leukemia. Matt, able to offer this gift of life opportunity, after participating in the football programs annual bone marrow drive. Szczur will actually donate his marrow next month.  

In many ways I am very envious of Matt. For one, it was his Wildcats winning the National Championship and not my Wildcats, the University of New Hampshire .

Granted UNH did hand Nova its only blemish in a 14-1 season, but it was a loss Nova avenged in the second round of the playoffs. Secondly, I too went through the same bone marrow testing program Matt did at Villanova, and recently got a call telling me I was one of two matches for a 55-year-old woman who had leukemia. I

n the end my marrow was not needed. Matt, however has a chance to really make a difference. Good luck Matt.

Meanwhile, a big congratulation to one of my favorite people, Villanova head football coach Andy Talley. Andy took over the reigns of the schools football program 25 years ago following a five year period in which Villanova didn’t even have football.

During his two and a half decade tenure on the Main Line, Talley has guided Villanova to eight NCAA playoff appearances, five conference championships, two Lambert Meadowland Cups, two ECAC Team of the Year awards, two national semifinal appearances and now the schools first ever National Title in football. Take that Howie Long (Nova Alum).

Andy has also coached and produced some pretty good players, like Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Brian Finneran who won the schools first ever Walter Payton Award in 1997 (sub divisions version of the Heisman).

To date, Finneran is the only wide receiver to ever claim this honor. In 2001, current Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook won the Payton Award, making Villanova one of just five schools to produce two Payton Award winners.

Once again, kudos to Andy, Matt and the entire Villanova football program, not a bad little gift to take home for the holidays.