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How Matt Peart's Family Directly Impacted His Path to Football

Matt Peart's first four teachers as a child were all women in his family, and the impact they made ultimately set Peart on the path to achieving his childhood dream of playing for the Giants.

Giants rookie offensive tackle Matt Peart didn't have to worry much about his teachers contacting his family as a child.

After moving to the Bronx, New York from Kingston, Jamaica, at the age of five, Peart's first four teachers happened to be female relatives—his grandmother in kindergarten, an aunt in first grade, and his mother in second grade and another aunt in third grade.

"The best part about having your mom as your teacher is the worst part about having your mom as your teacher,” Peart said during a recent phone interview.

“I can remember a bunch of times where my mom embarrassed me in front of the girl I liked."

But if there was concern about Peart being a “teacher’s pet” during his first four years of school, that wasn’t the case.

"Nothing was given to me,” he said. “It actually made everything a little harder because they expected me to get everything and then some."

Peart's family's culture of a strong work ethic manifested in his commitment to academics at a young age, as he would go on to become a top student and earn acceptance into the Oliver Scholar's program, which prepares students from underserved communities for top independent schools.

Meanwhile, alongside that family culture, New York's sports culture rubbed off on Peart in a different way, leading him to pursue basketball as a child and adopt the Giants as his favorite football team.

Peart's family's academic priorities and his athletic pursuits came to a crossroads when he earned enrollment and a scholarship to attend The Governor's Academy in Byfield, Massachusetts.

There Peart had the opportunity to compete in the Independent School League, one of the country’s most competitive athletic conferences.

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Peart originally planned to play basketball in high school, but Governor Academy's football program gave him the chance to channel his natural strengths as an offensive and defensive lineman.

"Going to Governor's, I remember getting a slip with sports that you could play, and I remember of all of them I wanted to play football," Peart said. "It had always been on my mind because of watching the Giants ... so I pulled the trigger on that."

Football ultimately emerged as Peart's primary sport at Governor's Academy, setting him on the path to play at UConn and eventually realize his childhood dream of playing for the Giants.

It's a path that Peart isn't sure he would have followed without the work ethic and support instilled in him by his grandmother's, mom's and aunts' classes.

"I don't know what my future would have been if I hadn't gone to Governor's Academy," Peart said. "Mainly because I didn't know which high school I would have gone to.”

However, the Giants weren't a welcomed topic for every one of Peart's teachers, especially after their Super Bowl XLVI victory over the New England Patriots in Peart's freshman year at the Massachusetts-based Governor's Academy.

"It was a school of about say 400 kids, I was one of three kids that was a Giants fan," Peart said.

"Our history teacher was a diehard Patriots fan, and I remember we were cracking jokes about [Super Bowl XVLI] after the whole thing happened, and she threatened my friend and me with a pop quiz."

These days, the extent of Peart’s pop quizzes are likely coming from the Giants coaching staff, who have been trying to install the new schemes via video teleconferences. 

Peart, who will compete for a starting job on the offensive line, can lean on the strong foundation laid by the women in his life.

"My family is one of the strongest foundations I have. When I chose to become a football player, they backed me, and they were there for me through the ups and the downs, and that support helped me get to where I am now."