Shawnee’s Welsey to Kutztown

by Marc Narducci | Feb 3, 2022
Shawnee’s Welsey to Kutztown

Matt Welsey had an amazing rise up the football ladder during his freshman year at Shawnee. He played six games on the freshman team, moved up to the JV and then in the final regular-season game, found himself the varsity starting quarterback.
That was 2018 and Shawnee ended up winning the South Jersey Group 4 championship, with Welsey at quarterback. 
He would continue running the offense in what became a record-setting career.
Recently Welsey announced that he would continue his education and football career at Division II Kutztown, which participates in the highly competitive Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).
He said he liked everything about the school and the football program and was highly impressed by the competition after attending a game this past season.
“I saw Kutztown against Millersvile and their guys looked like Division I athletes and I was impressed,” he said. “The stands were filled and the atmosphere was great and everybody was flying around, looking like Division I athletes.”
That is an excellent point because one tends to think that if a player doesn’t go Division I, whether it is an FBS or FCS school, the competition is lacking.

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Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only does a player have to be great to play Division I, but they have to for Division II or Division III.
Remember, even on the Division III level, virtually everybody on each team was once a high school all-star. 
As for Welsey he understands that just as in high school, he will have to battle for the quarterback position. 
“The offensive coordinator at Kutztown said there will be competition and if you love football you have to compete every single day for a starting job,” Welsey said. “I started four years but I know it will be a little different so I am going to fight every day and I understand it takes time to develop.”
Kutztown is getting a major dual threat in the 6-foot, 190-pound Welsey.
This season he completed 165 of 260 passes for 2,750 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also rushed for 591 yards and 20 touchdowns on 133 carries.
Shawnee went 8-4 while competing in South Jersey’s toughest conference – the WJFL American Division. The Renegades won two playoff games to advance to the South Jersey Group 4 final before losing to a talented Winslow Township team, 34-22.
In his four seasons, Welsey helped Shawnee win two South Jersey Group 4 titles and compete in a third title game.
It completed a long and successful journey. He was named a starting quarterback during the final game before the playoffs in his freshman season. 
At the time, the varsity was 2-5 but Shawnee was assured of qualifying for the playoffs due to its incredible strength of schedule.
The quarterback had been senior Joe Dalsey, who had been a tight end. Coach Tim Gushue decided to replace Dalsey with Welsey. Dalsey became a dominant running back and Welsey took over at quarterback.
“He told me the day after we had played so I had six days to think about what to do next game,” Welsey recalls. “I was super nervous and probably was overthinking every situation but I had such a great senior class who helped me out so much and took me under their wing.”
Shawnee lost that last regular-season game, 27-21 to Rancocas Valley, but then beat Mainland, 25-8 in the first round of the playoffs before winning two nail-biters, 28-26 at Millville and then 17-14 in double overtime at Clearview.
Shawnee repeated as Group 4 champion in 2019 in a more dominating fashion. The Renegades beat Ocean City, 28-0 in the sectional final and then defeated Hammonton, 34-0 in the South/Central regional championship. 
Shawnee rebounded from the 1-6 season in 2020 (where four of the losses were by a touchdown or less) to go 8-4 this past season and make yet another sectional final appearance. 
For his career, Welsey passed for 6,532 yards and 57 touchdowns. He also ran for 1,015 yards and 33 scores. 

Most of all, he kept improving each season. Gushue feels his former quarterback will prosper on the next level.
“He was like a coach on the field,” Gushue said. “He knew where to go with the ball. His ability to pass and run made him difficult for defenses to defend.”

Author: Marc Narducci


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