Matt Tomkowicz '05
Matt Tomkowicz enjoyed a charmed and remarkable athletic career at Rice High School, but one thing he was very bad at was losing. It was so foreign to him that he never experienced it in either Football or Lacrosse his Senior year. Matt’s athletic dominance gave Rice two more championships and countless more stories, and he ushered the Little Indians back to the forefront of high school athletics in northern Vermont.
One can truly grasp the tremendous impact Matt had on Rice sports when reciting his many accolades. He was recognized in his selection on the All-State Football team, both his Junior and Senior years, along with his participation in the North-South game and the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl. His Junior year saw his selection as the Kick and Punt Returner for the All-State Team, and he was also an All-Stater for his defensive efforts at Linebacker. To cap it off, in 2005 he was nominated for the Vermont State Football Hall of Fame. Perhaps even more impressive are the stats he put up in his Junior and Senior seasons. As a Junior, he scored a remarkable 14 touchdowns, while tallying up six interceptions, three of which he converted into TDs. Along with his teammate and fellow inductee, Drew Macartney ’05, he led Rice to the playoffs in 2003 where they suffered a loss. Moreover, the team endured a tough offseason with 10 Seniors graduating in the spring of 2004. Undaunted by this loss of leadership, Tomkowicz reprised his role as star running back with 24 touchdowns his Senior year, and a whopping 1,400 yards of rushing. That’s nearly a mile of rushing in only 11 games! Off the field, Matt’s leadership and character were recognized when he received the Peter Godfrey Scholarship which goes to a student “characterized by their determination, desire to succeed, and their service to others.” Of course, anyone who had seen Matt on the playing field wouldn’t doubt the first two.
Matt’s Football career is only half the story. An undefeated Football season must have sparked a real passion for winning, because that’s all he and the Indians’ Lacrosse team would do in their 16-game season. When asked to recall any special memories while wearing the Indians’ uniform, he spoke of the weather during the Football Championship game his Senior year. “Although it was cold, it did not slow us down in our quest for the title.” Another prized Rice memory was of his other championship that year, this time with the Lacrosse team. That season Matt led the Indians with two clutch goals to win both games over Burlington and sealed the W for Rice in the first ever Division II Championship. He remarked, “Being able to score a goal in the championship game put the cherry on top of my athletic career at Rice.”
Following his standout Rice career, he attended St. Lawrence University where he played football in his first year, but he left the team due to concussions he sustained. He then switched to the Lacrosse club team, of which he became Vice President, for the remainder of his time there.
Currently, Matt is an engineer with PC Construction Co. in South Burlington and resides in Burlington with his wife, Jessica, and their children, Maxton and Hadley. Matt has said, “A senior year without a loss (27-0 and two championships) is something I can be proud of to this day.”