A standout volleyball player for the Friars

By Jenelyn Russo     6/28/2015

Matt Johnson got the idea to give volleyball a try as a fifth grader after watching a friend of the family play. A sport that looked to be “an interesting experience” quickly became of much greater importance to the Servite High School senior.

“I keep playing because I’ve really found my passion,” says Johnson. “I really enjoy the way the game makes me feel when I’m playing and doing well.”

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The 17-year-old varsity member of the Friars plays outside hitter, a position he enjoys because of the active role he has in each play in the game. Johnson was a key component of Servite’s Trinity League Championship title-winning boys’ volleyball team this season, leading the team with 320 kills and landing a first- team All-Trinity League spot.

“Matt is one of the hardest working players in our program and is a great example of being a faith-filled leader,” says Servite’s varsity volleyball head coach, Matt Marrujo. “We are looking forward to Matt using the respect he has earned with his work ethic on the court, in the weight room and in the classroom to lead our team during this upcoming season.”

Competing and winning the league title alongside his teammates has left an indelible mark on Johnson, and the significance of representing the Friars has never been stronger.

“It was the closest I’ve ever felt to a team,” says Johnson. “It was a fantastic experience and I’m really glad I could bear the Servite crest.”

Johnson is also active in service, both on his campus and in his community. As an Assistant Prior in Servite’s Priory Leadership Program, he helps mentor fellow classmates in leadership and fraternity.

Johnson also sang with the All-American Boys Chorus, an experience that had the Huntington Beach resident touring around the world. As a member of the Boy Scouts of America, Johnson was so inspired by his time with the Boys Chorus, that he renovated a local portable trailer for them as his service project to attain his Eagle Scout ranking.

“I felt like the Boys Chorus had done so much for me that I should give back,” says Johnson.

Johnson hopes to continue to play volleyball at the collegiate level, but his focus will be on a degree in psychology. He is grateful to the main role models in his life, his parents, and strives each day to honor them and the sacrifices they’ve made for him.

“I chose my number, 33, because that’s what my dad’s number was while he was in high school,” says Johnson. “I really try to pay tribute to him every day that I play.

“And my mom is the hardest working woman I’ve ever known,” says Johnson. “It’s amazing what she’s done, and there are no words to describe how much I love her.”