Two Hilton Head Island High School student-athletes put pen to paper Wednesday night, signing their National Letters of Intent at the HHIHS gymnasium in front of friends and family. Swimmer Cameron Matousek signed with Nazareth College (N.Y.), and soccer star Abbie Lainhart chose to continue her career at Western Carolina University.
Matousek has been a mainstay in the pool for the Seahawks. The Nazareth signee competed at the state championships all four years of high school and contributed to Hilton Head’s runner-up finish at the SCHSL state championship this past fall with top-10s in the 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley. He also excelled with H2A, collecting a top-20 finish in the 100 breast at the 2020 SC short course state meet. A breaststroke specialist, Matousek will continue his swimming career with the goal of becoming a physical therapist after his time at Nazareth.
“I’m very blessed to be in this position,” Matousek said. “I’m so grateful for everyone in my life and am super excited for what’s to come.”
“Super proud of Cameron,” Hilton Head High and H2A coach Mike Lane said. “He’s been with us since middle school, he’s a six-year letterwinner and a state finalist. I’m just so happy for him and where his future is headed going into a physical therapy program and continuing his athletic career. He’s getting better every single year.”
A standout on the soccer pitch, Lainhart delivered for the Seahawks in the biggest moment of them all. After scoring in a Lower State final win against Dreher, a then-freshman Lainhart netted the game-winning goal in a 2-1 triumph over Eastside to capture the 2018 4A state title. The future Catamount continued her reliable scoring touch for the Seahawks in the following years and will look to cap off her high school career on the field this spring after her junior season was cut short.
“It’s definitely a relief, I’m super excited to play at the next level,” Lainhart said. “I was bummed last year. We were going to be so good, we had players that are now D-1 with us. We were definitely going to get the state title. It made me upset, but it made me want to work even harder. Now that we don’t have their talent to help us out, it makes me want to push harder, set an example for the young players, and get another state championship.
“I’m also really excited to start the next chapter of my life,” Lainhart added. “Grades are super important to me, but I also want to see the field almost all game, work super hard, and prove my spot on the team.”
Written by Wes Kerr / Photos by Mary Beth Lyons