Mathiaz Rocha Joins Bobcat Football Team for 2019 Season
Bobcat Athletics Staff | February 27, 2019
The Texas State football team and Team IMPACT held a special Draft Day Celebration at the End Zone Complex Tuesday morning when 14-year-old Mathiaz Rocha of San Marcos, Texas became a member of the 2019 Bobcat football team.
Tuesday's Draft Day began with current members of Texas State's football team giving Mathiaz a tour of the End Zone Complex. Then, Mathiaz signed his letter of intent in a special celebration. As a team member, Mathiaz will attend practices, games, workouts, dinners and other team events.
"We're fortunate to add our 15th member to this year's signing class," Head Coach Jake Spavital said. "While we've had success in recruiting this year, we felt that we had not finished our signing class completely.
"We needed an all-star and we didn't have to go far to find this guy. Mathiaz is a courageous 14-year old who has been diagnosed with elevated spinal pressure in the brain that mimics a brain tumor. This condition makes playing sports a challenge."
Mathiaz was diagnosed in 2015 with two chronic conditions -- Pseudotumor Cerebri and arachnoid cysts. Pseudotumor cerebri increases the pressure around the brain causing headaches and vision problems. Arachnoid cysts are cerebrospinal fluid-filled cysts which develop on the surface of the brain or spinal cord.
"He is an inspiration to us," said cornerback Anthony J. Taylor. "Even though this program is known to improve the lives of these children, I know that Mathiaz and his family are having a bigger impact on the lives around them."
Headquartered in Boston, Team Impact's mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing serious and chronic illnesses by connecting them with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched more than 1,700 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 49 states, reaching over 50,000 participating student-athletes. The child joins the athletic team and the student-athletes join the child's support team. Throughout the journey, the child gains strength, camaraderie and support while the student-athletes experience lessons of courage, resiliency and perspective they can't learn in a classroom.