By John Pluta
Sun Contributing Writer
EDITOR’S NOTE: Today is part four of a seven-part series profiling the 2012 Norwich Sports Hall of Fame induction class.
Tom Stoddard was a three-season athlete at Norwich, participating for four years at the varsity level in football, wrestling, and track and field. In his spare time he worked long, hard hours helping at home, picking corn and delivering topsoil. After graduation from Norwich High School in 1993, Tom attended Hartwick College where he majored in Social Sciences and played football for four years. Tom never let his hearing disability interfere with his goals and aspirations. He went on to teach Social Studies at Sherburne-Earlville, then at Norwich where he has now returned to teach at the middle school and coach football, wrestling and track and field. His contributions to the Norwich School District have continued long after his graduation.
Tom Stoddard started his varsity career in the fall of 1989 when he was brought up to the varsity football squad with fellow freshmen Keith Evans and Dan Jennings. For the next four years they would be the foundation of the Purple Tornado’s offensive and defensive lines. He made an immediate impact with his work ethic and enthusiasm, and became the starting noseguard for the season.
As a 5’11”, 200-pound freshman, Tom was already a force to be reckoned with. In his first varsity wrestling match, against a Johnson City team that was ranked number seven in New York State, he lost on a second period escape. His first victory came against Vestal in an 8-5 decision. As a varsity track and field athlete, he began to throw the shot and discus.