by Cate Murway
Matthew [meaning- a reward] Michael D'Emidio, CEC ’08 owns an awesome resume of accomplishments! This grappler has 119 career wins/78 pins and has retired from high school wrestling, surpassing Bishop Egan's Jack Brady ‘82 who was atop the program's all-time wins list with his 113 victorious bouts. Matt was a 4-time all Philadelphia Catholic League wrestler, a title that was accomplished only 6 times in CEC history. He also placed 3 times at the PA Prep School Tournament, a new historic triumph at CEC. CEC, a member of the Philadelphia Catholic League (PCL), long recognized as one of the finest leagues in the Commonwealth of PA, is now part of the PIAA.
Royal Blue and White Eagles head coach Grant Robert Passman, BE’80/WCU has been quoted as saying, “Matt’s commitment to his development stands alone and his commitment to the program stands above and beyond a lot of his peers. He has the “winningest” attitude and is just the nicest kid!” Matt follows his dreams with dedication and desire. He put his mind to it and his heart in it and proved that one can accomplish almost anything. Matt was awarded the Bucks County Courier Times Winter Golden Team honorable mention all four years in the 103#, 112# and 125# weight classes. Through wrestling, he has finely tuned and developed his strength, balance, flexibility, endurance and most importantly, confidence in his abilities and his skills like body control, body awareness and quick reaction. He has honed his "self-reliance"--the ability to make things happen without expecting help from others! Modesty runs deep in his nature, and he can work comfortably without recognition of his accomplishments.
Matt and his parents, who met through friends, Garfield Park Academy carpentry teacher, David Michael, All League football athlete and also a wrestler, Bristol H.S ’79/PSU ‘84 and resource room teaching assistant Mary Kathleen (MaryKate) [Pickford], Cardinal Dougherty ‘79/Lock Haven ‘84 and his two sisters, 8th grader Jennifer Theresa and 5th grader, Olivia Catherine reside on East Circle in the Borough.
Competition has always been a huge part of his life. Matt has been “mastering the mats” since he was a third grader in the Truman Rams Wrestling Association where he developed his basic understanding and appreciation of wrestling and the ideals of good sportsmanship, honesty, and respect for authority. His dad was the Vice President of the Association and he is currently a volunteer assistant CEC wrestling coach.
His paternal grandfather, Joseph N. (Joe) D’Emidio [late grandmother, Theresa (Angelini)/step-grandmother Jeanne (Galli)] is the former owner and still current employee of Cameo Kitchens on Mill Street.
Almost always an Honor student, in the top 25% of his class, Matt made the decision to attend CEC for its accelerated math classes and its soccer program, although he has never participated in that sport in High School. Matt confided that he is “not a big fan of cross country” but ran to get into shape for wrestling. “I wasn’t tall enough for basketball so I tried wrestling.”
Endurance is what can separate a good wrestler and an awesome wrestler. Even if an opponent is stronger, faster, and more skilled, having the attitude and endurance that wrestling necessitates will allow one to beat such an opponent.
He very proudly shared that he beat his two friends, John C. [Jack] Scanlin ‘08 and Michael [Mike] Rowan ’10 in the Northeast Roadrunners Christmas is for Giving 5K
in December 2006! Last October, he returned home with “hardware”, a third place medal, after competing in the First Race for the Cure in Sea Isle.
Sports has always been his main focus but Matt recalls racing miniature wood cars in the pinewood derby, a racing event for Cub Scouts, and assembling cars from wood kits containing a block of pine, plastic wheels and metal axles. This event has been named in the "America's 100 Best" in 2006 by Reader's Digest as "a celebrated rite of spring". Coach Matt recently coached K-2nd Soccer for the St. Ann/St. Mark CYO team that went undefeated during their regular season.
Math was always his best subject but “not this year with Calculus!” His favorite subject now is Cinematic Studies. Contemporary literature can appear in many forms; it is important that students be able to analyze and to be critical of literary forms other than the printed word. This course is designed to enlighten students as to the history of films and the various genres of film in the U.S. All students are required to create a fifteen (15) minute student film in order to successfully complete the course and each will have the opportunity to learn state-of-the-art computer editing in preparing the film assessments.
As a member of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council [MYAC], he participated in the "Shop with a Cop" Christmas program, established to build positive relationships between police officers and the children of the community, and then wrapped the gifts in the Lower Bucks Senior Activity Center on Wood Street while the children snacked.
He and the council members recently toured the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. and met with Congressman Patrick J. Murphy.
His college destination for civil engineering is the University of Pittsburgh, an internationally recognized center of learning and research. He feels certain that this is the best fit for students such as himself with a strong math background. He has decided that he is not wrestling his frosh year until he learns how to manage his time and “grades come first”! MYAC President, Samuel Michael Scalzo, BHS ‘08 will be a fellow Panther in the Fall.
Matt really loves junk food but confirms that his mom cooks great Italian food, especially pasta in their “Cameo Kitchen” home kitchen. He frequents the Radcliffe Café for “the best meal of the day, any time of the day” for scrambled eggs and cheese!
“Not a fan of reading”, any music is fine but he doesn’t listen to country or jazz or opera. “Jack Johnson is the man”! Jack Hody Johnson, a Hawaiian-born singer-songwriter, musician, filmmaker and surfer provides the best easy listening music. Undeniably about bravery and blood, historical fantasy “300”, with all the gushing blood of a horror movie and the scope of a classic epic is his best film choice, along with “Gladiator” and its premise “to be true to one's best self, for nothing else will ever be of any lasting consequence”.
Last summer Matt received a scholarship to participate in the PA Free Enterprise Week at Lycoming College, an intensive one-week that had the students running their own "companies". His advertising project was to market a significantly more durable, reliable, and combat friendly military camera and make a profit.
This summer he will be working at Sesame Place in the culinary operations department to repay debts to his parents, save some money for PITT and keep gas in the tank of his forest green Ford Bronco.
Matt loved growing up in the Borough. “There’s always something to do, basketball courts right there, baseball fields and multiple sports to play.” What would he change in the town? “No lights on Pond Street. There shouldn’t be traffic lights there!”
Hope no one else gets credit for his idea!
To recommend a Bristol borough youth to be spotlighted: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org