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Knights' Matt Kubly sets Golden example for St. Francis football

St. Francis senior center is one of few returners from last season, but works hard to keep team at elite level.

August 29, 2012|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • St. Francis High center Matt Kubly will look to guide the Golden Knights to a strong 2012 season.
St. Francis High center Matt Kubly will look to guide the… (Tim Berger/Staff…)

When Trevor Provencio first lined up across from Matt Kubly, Provencio thought what most that line up across from Kubly think.

“I thought cause I was bigger than him, I was gonna wreck him,” Provencio recalls, “but he actually wrecked me.”

Provencio was a freshman at St. Francis High then, scrimmaging against Kubly, a sophomore on the junior varsity squad. Now they're starters on a Golden Knights offensive line preparing for a 2012 campaign, but Kubly still isn't all that big for an offensive lineman — 6-foot, 205 pounds he says, though that might be a bit of a reach — and yet he's still playing big for St. Francis.

“He is so much stronger than he should be,” senior quarterback Jared Lebowitz says of Kubly, who squats 395 pounds and bench presses 280. “He absolutely manhandles guys three times his size.”

Indeed, Kubly has proved that he can be a physical force as an incumbent starter at center for the Golden Knights, but it is the intangibles that tell more of Matt Kubly’s story and just how much notions such as leadership, intensity and discipline mean to him and, in turn, why the senior tri-captain means so very much to St. Francis this season.

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“He’s been our rock,” Provencio says. “We have three new starters [on the offensive line] and two of them have never played O-line in their life. He tells them what to do and explains it in a way to where they get it. And if they don’t get it, he pulls them away after the play and explains what they did wrong.

“He’s just always there if you need him.”

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Leading into every season, St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds has his roster of players vote on team captains that are known as the Golden Knights. Heading into the current campaign, the veteran coach already knew that Matt Kubly was likely to get a vote to lead his team.

“He wasn't afraid to lead as a junior, even on a team full of seniors. It was pretty easy to see he would be a guy that this year's class and this year's team would gravitate to,” Bonds says. “He's a natural leader. It seems to come pretty easy to him. He's a no-nonsense type of guy, but he has the respect of his teammates.”

Along with Lebowitz and senior safety Joe Velladao, Kubly is one of three Golden Knights team captains. It’s a role Kubly takes seriously — much like he does just about everything — and a position he sees as an honor.

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