Matt grew up in Scott, New York, a town on the south end of Skaneateles Lake that only had a gas station and a total population of about 1000 at the time. He was in the 5th grade when he received his first lacrosse stick. Once he got that first stick and a taste of lacrosse, that meant spending hours in his driveway, not surprisingly, shooting on his younger brother, Mike, who he had to bribe to be his goalie.
It was because of the small town he grew up, that he was able to take his backyard game to the next level. He first played competitively in the 7th grade for his modified school team. From there his coaches, Coach Luchsinger & Korrie, taught him the ins and outs of lacrosse, while fueling his love for the game. It was the support of his coaches and parents, Kay and Sheldon, that gave him the foundation for the person he is today.
Matt played four years of scholastic lacrosse at Homer High School, earning All- American honors his senior year for his midfield play. In 1988 he was selected as a member of an Empire State team. Sadly, as his high school career came to an end, his father passed away at the age of 44. That was the same day he was supposed to visit Coach Roy Simmons Jr. at Syracuse for the first time. Matt credits his mom and Coach Simmons for their support and encouragement during that very difficult time. While Coach Simmons is known as a legendary lacrosse coach and phenomenal artist, to Matt, he helped fill the huge void that his father’s absence had left.
At Syracuse University under Coach Roy Simmons Jr. Matt was a member of two NCAA Championship Teams, 1990 and 1993. One of the highlights of the 1990 championship was a trip to the White House where he met President George H.W. Bush. In 1992, Matt’s junior year, he was named a second-team All-American at attack. In his senior year, he led his team to the 1993 NCAA championship scoring the winning goal with just 8 seconds remaining in the game. The highlight of his senior year, however, was being honored with the annual Jack Turnbull Award. This award is given to the nation’s most outstanding attack player.
From 1995 to 1998 Matt was a member of the Rochester Knighthawks of the National Lacrosse League. ( NLL). In 1997 the Knighthawks were the NLL World Champions.
In his transition from Homer High School, to Syracuse University and eventually the Rochester Knighthawks, the game of lacrosse has always been important to Matt. Lacrosse has served as a confidence builder, a stress reliever, and as an inspiration for good in his life.
While Matt is no longer actively playing lacrosse it still remains a huge part of his and his family’s daily life. Matt and his wife (whose father was a varsity baseball coach for 22 years!) are the parents of two teenagers. Mitchell, who is 14 and a freshman will play on his high school lacrosse team next spring. 17-year-old daughter, Mattie, just recently committed to play lacrosse for Campbell University in the fall of 2020. Matt says, “the love of the game, strengths, and opportunities the game has given the Riter family are something that I will always cherish.”