His Cardinal football jersey hangs in the foyer at Bridge City High School, the No. 99 long retired,  Matt Bryant, was honored Monday for the courage and dedication he displayed following the sudden death of his 3-month-old son last September. The Tampa Bay Buccaneer place kicker was named the recipient of the 2009 Halas Award, which is given annually by the Professional Football Writers Association of America to the NFL individual who overcomes the most adversity to succeed during a season.

Bryant kicked three field goals, including the game-winner, against Green Bay the Sunday after his son died and did not miss a game following the tragedy as he finished the year converting 32 of 38 field-goal attempts.

He is the son of Casey and Mary Bryant of Bridge City.

“I’m very appreciative to be acknowledged,” Bryant said “Anytime you get recognized in this kind of capacity it is an honor.”

Last Febuary, Bryant, an outstanding football and baseball player for the Bridge City Cardinals, was inducted into the Museum of the Gulf Coast. He has also been selected to marshal the 2009 Port Arthur Mardi Gras Parade.

Matt Bryant became the fourth Bridge City Cardinal football player to be inducted into the Museum of the Gulf Coast. Steve Worster, Shane Dronnett and Jason Mathews have also been inducted.

In 2006, Bryant, booted a franchise-record 62-yard field goal as time expired to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles. It was the third longest in NFL history. He became a finalist for the 2007 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award – not for his proficiency as a kicker but for his community service work. He became a spokesman for Florida’s “Child Predator Cyber Crimes Unit.”
But one of his greatest achievements may have been born from tragedy during the 2008 season.

After the death of his 3-month-old son Tryson, Sept. 24, Bryant, 33, and his wife, Melissa, founded the Matthew Tryson Bryant Foundation. The foundation raises and allocates funds to several children’s charities and to help fund research into SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Bryant was a member of the 1992 Cardinal baseball team under then-head coach Chuck Young. The team finished the season in the final round of UIL State Baseball Championship. During the 1992 baseball season Bryant once hit four home runs in four consecutive times at bat.Enter your body text here.