St Patrick’s School teacher Sebastian Matheson towers over his year two students and outside of the classroom he has been putting his tall frame to good use on the AFL field.
The ruckman was named the Central West AFL’s best and fairest last weekend after he had already claimed the 2017 premiership with his Bathurst Bushrangers Outlaws teammates.
Matheson polled 14 votes to take out the award ahead of Young’s Brad McKinnon (10) and Orange Tigers pair Dan Sadler and Josh Bubnich (nine each).
“It was definitely a surprise, I definitely wasn’t expecting it. I think the best I’d finished before was about fifth and that was two years ago, I think that’s the highest I’ve polled before,” he said.
“Matt Archer and Tim Hunter, I thought both of them would be up there and probably a few of the boys from the Rebels as well.
“It’s nice to be up there with a few blokes I’ve played with over the years, in the 90s my uncle [Sean O’Donnell] won it two or three times as well.”
Matheson has been teaching at St Patrick’s for the past two-and-a-half years and has enjoyed his time in the classroom.
“Yeah, I love it,” he said.
Australian Rules Football does not have a significant foothold in Lithgow but nevertheless St Patrick’s has entered sides in the NSW primary school’s competition, the Paul Kelly Cup, for the past two years with reasonable success.
“Last year I think both teams won three or four games, which is good, so will be looking at doing that again next year,” Matheson said who coaches the teams alongside year three teacher Donette McManus.
Having begun his CWAFL career as a Bathurst Eagle, Matheson joined the ranks of the Bushrangers when the club formed in 2004.
He has been a consistently good performer, but feels the strong Outlaws midfield group he played alongside this season helped him to the top award.
“I think I was pretty lucky this year with the midfield group I had around me, we had myself, Nath Belbin, Michael Long and then Matty Archer as well,” he said.
“They were the main ones, a few others rotated through there as well, but we did have a pretty strong midfield this year.
“I think it [the count] was pretty close throughout it, definitely at the halfway mark it was very close.
“But I had some stronger games towards the end of the season, I typically do play better towards the end of the season.
“Winning the grand final, absolutely that was the highlight for me, it’s why we play and it was great we were able to finish the year well. I have played in six senior grand finals now and only won two of them, so it was really nice to get the win.”