One LH family can’t lose when the Wildcats play Jesuit in the big football game Friday night. That’s because, while Jana Maturi cheers for her Highlandette daughter at halftime, her husband Paul will be working as a coach for the Jesuit Rangers.
But don’t call this A House Divided.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Paul, who’s in his first year as Defensive Coordinator for Jesuit. “I have tremendous respect for Scott Smith and the great job he’s done over there. I cheer for the Wildcats every week except this one.”
To complicate matters, Jana works in the front office of LHHS and Paul formerly coached for the Wildcats. Both graduated from LHHS, and they still live in the neighborhood.
“This is the best of both worlds,” Paul told me. It will be a fun game, a good contest and a great night of football.”
Will he get to watch daughter Molly perform at halftime?
“I wish I could, but I will probably have coaching duties. I’ve talked to her about it and explained I’ve got a responsibility to the boys here. She does a good job of handling that. She wants me to do well. She’s a Wildcat first, but she loves her Daddy.”
It’s pretty clear the three Maturi daughters adore their Daddy. Haley is a sophomore at Harding University and Jamie plays volleyball at Lake Highlands Junior High.
“I support all the goings-on in LH,” said Paul. “Jana and I were at the Granger Smith concert Sunday, which was neat for me because I coached Granger when he played football here in LH. We’ve gone to see him perform several times.”
I wondered if being on opposite sides of the field would create conflict, but Paul had nothing but praise for both sides. “There’s a lot of mutual respect – both are great schools and great communities. It’s a positive thing – I want both communities to know my heart is with both.”