Click here to see COVID-19 updates

News

​Vargas legacy to support future Yellow Jackets

August 07, 2020 | posted by Today's Catholic newspaper

Topics: Catholic Schools, Hope for the Future


Vargas legacy to support future Yellow Jackets

“Matt’s leadership went beyond the field of play, he led in the mind, heart, and spirit of his teammates.”

That’s the way Roy Salas, one-time football coach at St. Anthony Catholic High School (SACHS), remembers Matthew Adam Vargas. Vargas attended SACHS all four years of his high school academic/athletic career from 2007-2011 leading the Yellow Jacket Football team as quarterback and named TAPPS All District Outside LB/Safety and TAPPS All District Offensive Athlete in 2010.

Matt was also involved in basketball and track, an active servant leader in his community and an A/B honor student. He entered his second year as a student at the University of the Incarnate Word, aspiring to eventually get into the nursing program. In December 2012, Matt and his family received the news that he had cancer and his battle began -- a battle that ended Jan. 4, 2015.

“He not only told, but he showed this type of grit and selflessness,” says Salas. “Off the field, Matt had the largest and most contagious personality you could find in a young man. Matt's personality continues to be infectious today through his family and the love they show for each other in Matt’s honor.”

The Vargas Family instantly knew they wanted to give back to their community that helped mold their family and honor Matt’s name to keep that SACHS spirit alive. Starting in 2017, The Matt Vargas Scholarship was established by the Vargas family in memory of their beloved son, brother, cousin, grandson and nephew. They started the Matt Vargas Memorial Football Tournament in December of 2016 and it has continued to grow, becoming a Yellow Jacket tradition ever since.

“There are numerous donors, family and friends who support the mission. We have raised and awarded over thousands of dollars for students attending St. Anthony and we hope to only keep that number growing,” says Marissa Vargas, Matt’s sister and SACHS alum, 2013.

The scholarship was created to leave a legacy while assisting SACHS families through hardships. The scholarship is designed to help at least one family in need every school year; and is given to a student who carries out the mission of the school and its values. The Vargas Football Fundraiser Tournament was postponed this past March 2019 due to COVID-19 and the new date is scheduled for October 17, 2020 at Lang Field.

“We are truly blessed to have the legacy of Matthew Vargas who came from a strong Catholic family to assist in building the future of our Yellow Jackets,” says Dr. Kristina Vidaurri, St. Anthony Catholic High School principal. “The Vargas tournament is an exciting day celebrating the life of Matthew while investing in the opportunities given to our students through the Vargas Scholarship. The Vargas Family has alleviated financial strain on some of our best students who have instilled the core values of our school on a daily basis. We want to thank everyone you for your support and investment in the Matthew Vargas Tournament. You are truly making a difference and changing lives.”

Recipients of the Vargas Scholarship sent in, along with letters of recommendation, a short video of what Catholic education means to them and how they plan on giving back to SACHS as an alumnus. The scholarship recipients for 2020-2021 school year are, Brandon Trevino, Ricky Juarez, Julie Serna, Benjamin Juarez, Alejandra Vargas, Mykaela Vasquez and Sophia Viagran.

“St. Anthony is our legacy,” says Marissa Vargas. “St. Anthony is our home. St. Anthony is our family. We only hope we can give back to a community that has given to us for so many years.”