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Alumni Happenings - October 2008
Grand County High School

Matt Cresswell, GCHS Class of 1985
by Jeff Richards

Matt and Heidi Cresswell
Matt and Heidi Cresswell

Matt Cresswell, 41, who graduated from Grand County High School in 1985, has lived in many places since graduation, but moved back to Moab yet again in the summer of 2007. “The hardest thing for me here is to find work,” said Matt, who works as a cowboy and trail guide, taking care of horses and cattle.

Matt and his wife Heidi are the parents of four sons. Their oldest two boys, Jacob and Tyrel, are students at Grand County High School. Jake is a senior and Ty is a sophomore; both are currently playing for the Red Devils football team. The third oldest son is Justin, who is currently a 7th-grader at Grand County Middle School. Youngest son Kayden is now in 4th grade at Helen M. Knight Intermediate School.

Matt first met Heidi, a native of Orem, Utah at a college dance at Utah Valley Community College. Matt, who had been taking rodeo classes at UVCC, attended the dance with former high school buddies Dirk Shumway and Jimmy Hawks. Matt met Heidi that night, and they danced for a few hours together. “I told him my phone number, but he didn’t write it down, so I wasn’t expecting him to call back,” recalled Heidi. “But he did call me, the very next morning. He woke me up with that phone call.”

That was the beginning of a courtship that eventually resulted in their marriage in March of 1990. The newlyweds first settled in Moab, but soon found themselves moving to a variety of locations, depending on where Matt could find work. They have lived in Salina, Utah three or four different times, Texas twice, plus stints in Nevada, Colorado, and Wyoming.

Matt Cresswell

Their most recent moves were from Moab to Miami, Texas for two and a half years (January 2005 until June 2007), then back to Moab again.

Matt’s mother, Kathy Cresswell, still lives in Moab, next door to Matt and Heidi’s family. Matt’s father, Joseph Matthew Cresswell, passed away in March of 2006.

Matt was born in Show Low, Ariz. in January of 1967. His family moved to Moab in 1973, when Matt was in first grade. Matt ended up attending Grand County schools all the way up until high school graduation, except for a short stint in Pennsylvania when Matt was in 6th grade.

“I learned things in 6th grade in Pennsylvania that weren’t addressed again until I was a sophomore in high school,” recalled Matt, explaining that he “sort of coasted” for a while after returning to Moab schools. “It wasn’t until my junior year that I really started to take school seriously, and apply myself.”

After graduation, Matt attended UVSC for a while, and also attended the College of Southern Idaho for a year. Early in 1988, he was baptized into the LDS church after meeting with its missionaries.

Nowadays, Matt and Heidi enjoy attending Red Devil football games and other sporting events with their kids. Matt only played one year of football in high school, his freshman year. “I was planning to come back and play as a senior, but my right knee got injured when I got kicked by a horse, and I was unable to play,” explained Matt.

Matt was involved in rodeo club while at GCHS, and he has used his animal wrangling skills all throughout his adult life, dating back to his high school years, when he spent most of his free time working with horses and cattle.

When asked if any GCHS teachers of his still stand out in his mind, Matt said, “One that was really impressionable was Mr. Hillman, the economics teacher.”

Matt currently works for James Dixon, one of his long-time high school friends.

In what little spare time they have, the Cresswell family enjoys “bucking bulls” and spending time outdoors. Matt also enjoys coaching city rec football and attending his boys’ various games and activities.
One thing in particular that Matt enjoys about living in Moab is its weather. “It gets a little hot in the summer, but the weather is really nice here,” said Matt, who spends a lot of his time outdoors, either in the stables or out on the trail.

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