When Sam Mattox '35 stepped off the baseball field following a game against Navy in 1935, a tradition ended at Washington and Lee. Mattox was one of five brothers to compete in athletics at W&L, dating to his older brother Jimmy who kicked a field goal in 1919 to beat Georgia Tech, 3-0.
Sam carried on the family tradition and enjoyed one of the greatest seasons ever for a W&L athlete his senior year. Mattox served as the football team captain in 1934 and led the Generals to a 7-3 record and the Southern Conference championship.
On Thanksgiving Day 1934, Mattox helped clinch the championship with a 14-7 victory over South Carolina before 9,000 fans when he threw two touchdown passes, kicked two extra points and intercepted two passes. W&L also won state championships in 1933 and 1934 and Mattox was an honorable mention All-America selection in 1934.
In the spring of 1935, Mattox served as a catalyst for the W&L baseball team which went 17-4-2 and won the Southern Conference Championship. An outfielder and leadoff hitter, Mattox batted .356 with 29 runs scored and 23 stolen bases.