In football country, Borowicz prefers the diamond
Matt Borowicz made his mark in the tradition-rich Stephen-Argyle High School football program, earning all-state honors last fall. When it comes to a favorite sport, however, the senior follows a family rather than a school tradition. Baseball is...
Matt Borowicz made his mark in the tradition-rich Stephen-Argyle High School football program, earning all-state honors last fall.
When it comes to a favorite sport, however, the senior follows a family rather than a school tradition. Baseball is his sport of preference.
"Football is more of the school's sport," Borowicz said. "But I grew up playing baseball with my dad (Leonard Borowicz) in our back yard. We've played catch for as far back as I can remember. We'd play baseball games when I was little, him pitching to me, then me pitching to him."
A hard-hitting linebacker in football, Borowicz is a hard-hitting center fielder for the Northern Freeze, a co-op of which Stephen-Argyle is a member. He carries a batting average of better than .400 for the team.
Baseball roots run deep for Borowicz. His grandfather, Dan O'Donnell, was a minor league player in the Chicago White Sox organization in the 1950s. That, however, is a connection Borowicz missed. O'Donnell died of cancer when Borowicz was very young, so he never met his grandfather.
"I've heard stories about him," Borowicz said. "We have some newspaper clippings of when he played, and some pictures of him with his baseball teammates.
"It's disappointing. It would be a cool experience to hear from him what he did in baseball and what he went through playing in the minors. All I know is that he played first base."
Borowicz has been a multisport standout at Stephen-Argyle.
As a junior, he was a two-way starter on the football team that won the Minnesota 9-man state championship in 2007. He was an all-state linebacker on the Storm team that was Section 8 runner-up last fall. And he was an all-conference pick on the Storm basketball team that was runner-up in the West Subsection 8A playoffs this winter.
Yet his favorite sport is the one in which Stephen-Argyle doesn't have its own program.
"I know, that is different," Borowicz said. "But baseball has always just felt right to me. It's the first sport I played. It stuck with me right away. I like to hit. And I like all the little parts of the game that make it interesting."
Northern Freeze baseball coach Kent Benson, whose team is off to a 5-3 start, said Borowicz has all the physical tools to do well in baseball.
"Matt is an athlete, big, strong, fast and he has strong hands," Benson said. "He's an excellent hitter. He really drives the ball; not a lot of home runs, but a lot of line drives all over the field."
While some college football programs recruited Borowicz, at least for now he says his plan is to attend UND and try to make the baseball team as a walk-on. He's still relatively inexperienced on the baseball field, as he's only played two years of high school ball and didn't play American Legion baseball last summer.
"With some work, Matt has the tools to play college baseball," Benson said.
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