Shane Matheny is all business

Most leaders are seen as those who are the first to speak up. For freshman third baseman Shane Matheny, leadership is about what a person doesn’t say.

“His teammates had the utmost respect for him as a leader,” Matheny’s high school coach Nate Andrews said. “He went about his business the right way and his teammates fed off of that.”

Matheny was born and raised in Bremerton, Washington, and has been an athlete from an early age. Growing up, Matheny played baseball, soccer, and basketball with his friends and in competitive leagues. As time went on, he knew that baseball was the sport that could take him places.

His father, Darryl Matheney, has been a golf professional for years. Shane said that although his father pushed him to play golf, he knew that baseball was the right choice for him.

“Over the years, athletes have to narrow it down to a specific sport,” Matheny said. “I stuck with baseball because I knew it was right, and I felt comfortable I could perform at a high level.”

Matheny played Little League baseball during his childhood and tried out for the varsity team at Olympic High School his freshman year. After an impressive tryout, Matheny was one of only a few freshmen that was selected to start for the varsity team.

During his high school career, Matheny played baseball and basketball. He earned two varsity letters as a member of the school’s basketball team and four letters for the school’s baseball team.

Outside of sports, Matheny was very active in his community. He was a volunteer at a homeless shelter near his home, a member of the National Honor Society, and a teen mentor at his school.

After his sophomore year, Matheny’s performance for the baseball team skyrocketed. Matheny earned Olympic League Most Valuable Player honors during his junior and senior seasons, and led the league with an astounding .453 batting average during his senior year.

When Cougar baseball Head Coach Donnie Marbut met Matheny during the recruitment process, he noticed his potential right away.

“Lots of times when you see a player, you get to see his skillset right away,” Marbut said. “He passed the eye test and demonstrated great maturity.”

Matheny knew that WSU was the perfect spot for him. When he visited Pullman for the first time, he knew he could call the Palouse his new home.

“Everyone is very close together here, especially since Pullman is a college town,” Matheny said. “I felt accepted right away and I knew that this was right for me.”

Matheny is already making an impact for the Cougars in his freshman season. Matheny plays a majority of games at third base and has been one of the leading hitters for the team all season.

Andrews said he is not surprised that Matheny has earned the opportunity to play right away.

“I’m not very surprised because I know the effort he puts forward,” Andrews said. “His coaches know what he brings to the table, especially defensively, and it shows in his work ethic.”

Matheny is a key piece for the future of the Cougar baseball team. Matheny said the team’s goal for the future is to achieve what no Cougar baseball team has since 1976.

“We want to make it to Omaha and win the Pac-12 championship,” Matheny said. “That’s what we’re all striving for and we’re on the right path to making it happen.”