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Polaski helps put Livermore on the map

Matthew Polaski warms up for a game against Amador Valley on March 20, 2021. Cliff Jackson / Staff Photo
Matthew Polaski warms up for a game against Amador Valley on March 20, 2021. Cliff Jackson / Staff Photo

Livermore football is back on the map, and senior tight end Matthew Polaski is a key reason why.

While Polaski was younger, the Cowboys were consistently at the bottom of the East Bay Athletic League, struggling to squeeze out wins against some of the state’s and region’s stiffest competition. League wins were hard to come by.

But, as Polaski was growing up, people noticed what he and his fellow senior class could do.

“From playing youth football with all these guys,” Polaski said. “Coming up, we’ve always heard it in our ears that’s going to be the team that’s going to turn Livermore around. And we’ve just been executing. It means the world to be able to put on for this city and to go out and win.”

During those early times, Polaski was a star, loving the game right from the jump and watching his career blossom into one of a remarkable story filled with success.

Polaski’s career began in second grade, with football immediately serving as his main love. Just three years later, it was obvious just what he could accomplish.

“We started noticing a separation,” Polaski said. “That’s when we started talking to people, trying to get me exposure, kind of stopping other sports and playing football year round, just try to maximize football as much as I can. Around that age for sure.”

Carving out a special legacy is just what Polaski and Livermore have done, putting themselves in city lore for the remainder of time.

Last season, Livermore went 6-5 – its first winning season in the MaxPreps era, which dates back to 2004. It finished in second place in the East Bay Athletic League Valley Division, only behind Amador Valley.

As part of that run, Polaski caught 45 passes for 470 yards and seven touchdowns, earning his way to first team all-league honors.

In the 2021 spring campaign, Polaski has only added on to that production, featuring a 44-yard effort in a crucial 21-7 win over Amador Valley on Saturday, helping lift Livermore to a 2-0 record and its second straight win over a Pleasanton school. 

It marked the first time Livermore has beaten both Pleasanton schools in multiple decades.

“I think what’s made me successful is the unbelievable support from my family, all the hard work that I’ve put in over the years that no one has seen and most importantly keeping a strong mentality, not being afraid to make mistakes, going out and having fun and playing the game that you fell in love with as a little kid,” Polaski said.

And the offers started pouring in.

Nearly 15 schools have offered Polaski, including Carthage, Clarke, Lake Erie, McMurry, Pacific, Pacific Lutheran, Whittier and William Jewell.

Polaski said he wants to major in either biology or health sciences. 

“I’m still talking to a couple other schools, too, so we’re going to see how that goes, but right now we’re just weighing the options and seeing what’s going to work out for me from a football standpoint and family,” Polaski said.

With the offers, Polaski will be the second straight Livermore tight end to find his way to the next level, following in the footsteps of Bradley Archer, who is at Stanford. 

“He really laid the blueprint for how to act on and off the field, how to put in work and how to play the game physically and mentally,” Polaski said. “He’s been a huge help in my recruiting process too just with help early on, getting my name out there and everything. Bradley Archer – he’s an absolute professional, and I can’t thank him enough for what he’s done for me.”

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