Packers take flyer on undrafted ex-Guam High WR Eaton
By DAVE ORNAUER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 6, 2019
Quite a few present and former DODEA-Pacific athletes have put pen to paper to take their athletic games to the next level.
This starts with a former Guam High School receiver, Matt Eaton, who nine years after leading the Panthers to their only Guam island football title, has signed as an undrafted free agent with the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.
Eaton played for Guam High in the Panthers’ 2010 championship season and in 2011 before transferring to his hometown high school in Pascagoula, Miss. From there, he spent two seasons at Temple, one season at Pearl River Community College in Mississippi and then the last two years at Iowa State.
In the Cyclones’ run-oriented offense, Eaton caught 48 passes for 512 yards and six touchdowns in his two seasons at Ames. The 6-foot-4, 211-pound receiver was one of 10 other undrafted free agents and the Packers’ eight draft picks, among others, who went to Green Bay last weekend for the team’s rookie mini-camp.
According to Packers.com, Eaton got a call from the Packers’ new receiver coach, Alvin Whitted, who said the team was interested in Eaton. “I have a lot of improvement to do as well as getting adjusted to the NFL playing style, but he was excited for me to come in and get a shot,” Packers.com quoted Eaton as saying.
Among DODEA-Pacific athletes who have signed to play college ball both in the U.S. and elsewhere:
-- Senior Jeff Horton of Kubasaki’s boys soccer team is headed to Canada to play for Providence College of Otterburne, a suburb of Winnipeg in Manitoba province. The Pilots play in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference and are one of few university-level teams that play against both American and Canadian teams.
-- Far East boys basketball Division II Most Valuable Player Dyson Robinson of E.J. King has signed to play for Virginia Wesleyan, in Salem, Va. The NCAA Division III Marlins play in the Mountain East Conference. Robinson helped lead the Cobras to two Far East Division II titles the last three years.
-- Heidelberg University of Tiffin, Ohio, a school with one of the more unusual mascots, the Student Princes, will welcome Matthew C. Perry senior Micayla Feltner to its women’s soccer team next fall. Heidelberg is an NCAA Division III school playing in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Feltner played for Naples in Italy and was two-times All-DODEA-Europe before transferring to Perry for the 2017-18 school year; she was named All-Far East Division II last season. Among Heidelberg’s more notable alums is John Buccigross, an ESPN SportsCenter anchor.
-- Two-time All-Far East Division I volleyball spiker Donatella Barone, a Kubasaki senior, is headed for Eckerd College in her home state of Florida to play for the Tritons of the NCAA Division II Sunshine State Conference. The Dragons have won four Far East Division I Tournament titles in the last five years, and Barone was on hand to play for two of them as a sophomore and a senior.
-- Finally, senior striker Kian Smith of Kadena’s boys soccer team has signed to play for York St. John, a public university in York, England. Smith has lived on Okinawa all his life and like a great many before him, has played for Japanese clubs off base as well as all four of his high school seasons at Kadena; he has amassed 45 goals since the start of his freshman season and is a two-time All-Far East Division I selection.