Matthew J. Hilker
Matthew Hilker was just 21 years old when he was killed on August 20, 2011 while he was on an outing with friends riding his Suzuki Hayabusa. Tragically a front tire blow out, sending him skidding off the road where he impacted a tree, and was killed instantly.
Most people remember Matthew as always having a big smile and treating everyone with respect. He befriended everyone. Instrumental in giving him his cheery outlook on life was the experience he gained while achieving the honor of Eagle Scout, being a member of the Order of the Arrow, and Assistant Scout Master of BSA Troop #327 under the guidance of Warren Sander.
Matthew believed that if a person excelled in something, it would improve their self esteem and self confidence. He tried to instill this philosophy in all the young people he coached by finding every player’s good attributes and making sure that they recognized them too. It was Matthew’s dream to have the Slidell/Pearl River area be the soccer capital of Louisiana. It is with his love and devotion for soccer and those he coached that his parents, family and friends created the Matthew J. Hilker Memorial Scholarship. Each year at least one high school boy soccer player and one high school girl soccer player will be awarded a scholarship, each in the amount of $1,000. Playing soccer in college is not a requirement. If you are a soccer playing senior in high school, please see your guidance counselor for the details on this scholarship.
From the age of four until the week of his death Matthew Hilker played soccer. He spent many enjoyable years on the Slidell Youth Soccer Club Mutiny team being coached by U. S. Naval Captain Ray Bellant, Matthew had four years playing and lettering under the direction of Coach Ryan Lasaroe at Northshore High School, and enjoyed coaching with Coaches Bob Devall and Greg Groglio at Pearl River High school making school history when the Pearl River boys soccer team won their first Distinct Championship in 2010-2011.
To start off the high school soccer season, there is an annual soccer scrimmage between Northshore High and Pearl River High– the school he played for and the school where he was coaching when he was killed – as a remembrance of his dedication to the sport of soccer and his love for both schools.
Matthew’s coaching endeavors also included coaching seven teams for SYSC ages U-6, U-8 and he also had the privilege of coaching a U-16 girls team. All the teams he coached had winning records.
Matthew served the SYCS as a referee for many years. Through soccer, he grew as a person and as an athlete. He made friends and learned discipline. He learned that anything worthwhile was not easy, but worth the price in time, work and patience.
Matthew joined an adult league in New Orleans, even playing the weekend before he died. He so loved the game!
2012 Scholarship Winners:
Alexis Tymkiw, Pope John Paul II
Lonnie Dutreix, Pope John Paul II
2013 Scholarship Winners:
Samantha Incaprera, Pope John Paul II
Ralph Price IV, Pope John Paul II
Joseph La, Salmen High
Melissa Maynard, Slidell High
2014 Scholarship Winners:
Mason Klotz, Pope John Paul II
Kristine Arceneaux, Pearl River High
Dustin Ducree, Northshore High School
Kristin Calamari, Pope John Paul II
Samantha Leonard, Salmen High
Please consider contributing to the Matthew J. Hilker Memorial Scholarship so that the legacy of such a loving, kind and inspirational young man can live on to encourage others.