Wooster Sportlight: Matson reflects on COVID silver-lining

Matt Olszewski

Senior Sports Editor

 

For Devon Matson ’21, COVID-19 has been a blessing in disguise. Matson — a two-year all-conference performer at Brunswick High School in Ohio and a four-year letter winner — emphasized the positive nature of being able to spend more time with teammates; “The pandemic has allowed our team to become closer because we are the people that we each get to interact with the most due to the restrictions on gatherings and social distancing. We also have all faced the same struggles since the beginning of the pandemic. We all were together in Hilton Head, South Carolina on spring break when we got called back, and we all understand the disappointment of having our past spring and fall seasons cancelled. I think sharing these experiences has brought us together because we understand each other and those emotions,” she said. 

In terms of the biggest challenge for her and her team during the pandemic, the season being cancelled in the spring and fall was a huge disappointment. She noted that with all of the uncertainty now, any match could be cancelled with little to no prior notice. “We don’t know exactly what the season will look like (who we play with, will spectators be allowed, etc.), but we know it is going to be different than past years,” Matson said. “We won’t be playing with as many teams, and we won’t be doing overnight tournaments. Accepting all these changes and uncertainties has been a big challenge for us.”

During the 2018-2019 season Matson was a Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) All-American Scholar and a member of the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Academic Honor Roll. In her next season, she was again a WGCA All-American Scholar and a member of the NCAC Academic Honor Roll. Her season low round score was a 182 at the Ohio Wesleyan University Fall Invite (Sept. 7-8). 

All of this success has come partly thanks to her coach, Lisa Campanell Komara. “Coach has helped [me] develop my skills on the course by consistently working on my swing and finding ways to improve it. As someone who tends to let [my] mind inhibit [my] gameplay, she has provided resources to help improve this aspect of my game. She motivates me at practice and works hard to help make me a better player. Her encouragement to have a positive attitude and to work hard has helped me develop off the course as a student and as a person.”  

As for Matson’s favorite memory as a Wooster student-athlete, she emphasized her team’s spring break trip to Hilton Head. “We get to play at beautiful golf courses nearly every day. As a team, we get to make so many memories together and get closer to one another during this trip. The drive down, the courses we played, the restaurants we went to, and the time that we spent with each other created some of my favorite memories,” said Matson. 

Matson’s teammates have been a key component of her incredibly positive experience at Wooster so far. “They are some of my closest friends. I spend so much time with them, and I enjoy every moment of it,” she said. “My teammates have helped create some of my fondest memories at Wooster. They provide a support system and a group of friends that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”

Matson is currently finishing up her Independent Study, which is about the representation of homoerotic relationships between women in Greek art. “I am reinterpreting artwork from ancient Greece that show women together and arguing that these images are depicting same-sex relationships,” Matson explained. “This pushes back on the current heteronormative understanding of these pieces. I have created a digital exhibit to showcase the art and my analysis of each piece.”