[Ryan Green/Universal Pictures]
As one would expect, Matichak is Winslow’s first player to become a movie star.
“It’s wild because I was telling one of my players Emma Armbrust that she was the first Homecoming Queen I’ve coached and that I’ve coached national team players, professional players and even a Sports Illustrated model,” Winslow said. “And in the back of my mind I knew Andi was doing modeling and some performance stuff. But I still won’t go see the movie.”
Like most coaches, Winslow keeps tabs on his former players, but even with social media making it easier, it still is difficult.
“This spring we had the dominating run through the state playoffs and I never got the chance to really thank the kids and say goodbye,” he said. “There’s the state trophy, but no bus ride home and the next thing you know the kids are gone because you’re out of school and it’s like dust in the wind.”
Matichak would have been on the 2012 state championship team if she hadn’t left for New York to pursue modeling and acting, but Winslow remembers her keeping an eye on the team from afar.
“She texted me an hour or two after the championship game and congratulated me and said how sad she was that she missed it,” Winslow said. “She said she would’ve given anything to be a part of it, but you have to make big choices in life and if it leads to a career in acting where she’s doing well then God bless her.”