REGINA — Matt Dominguez is known throughout Saskatchewan and in Canadian Football League cities as a gifted receiver who terrorized defences during his five years with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Wednesday, April 15, about 800 people attending the 45th annual Saskatchewan Prayer Breakfast at the Conexus Art Centre got to know him more intimately as he regaled the audience with humour, speaking about his faith journey.
Born in Texas, the eldest of six children, Dominguez said he was blessed with athletic ability which took him through high school and college, where he achieved All American honours. After short stints with the Denver Broncos, he joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2003 and quickly became a fan favourite by surpassing 1,000 yards receiving in his first year.
He signed with the New York Jets in 2004, but re-joined the Riders after he was cut by the Jets after training camp. Persistent knee injuries kept from reaching his full potential and he retired in 2008. He and his family — wife Jennifer and children Matthew, Victoria and Marcel — chose to make Regina their home. and he now owns and operates Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Prairieview.
“I am a sinner and tried to make deals with God, you know, if you give me this, God I’ll give you that,” he told the crowd, but quickly had them laughing as he described one of his sins as a liar: “I told people they looked good when they didn’t.”
He talked about religion in his upbringing, but said he “locked” it all out and was never really grounded. However, he always had this voice in his head that told him, “Matt, this is wrong,” whenever he transgressed.
The change came when he was shooting baskets with a friend.
“He asked me, ‘Matt, what would you do if you knew God was with you right now?’ That hit me as a powerful statement.”
He was invited to attend chapel after practice with nine others and the change in his faith began then.
“I knew I needed God’s forgiveness,” he said. “Do you have any idea how hard it is for a guy with bad knees to kneel down and ask for forgiveness?”
He showed some emotion as he described his wife Jennifer’s continued support in all that he has done. He knows now, he said, that the Lord is always with him when things get tough.
“He promised he will be with you during these times and I know he is with me now.”