The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Bodamer as Pennsylvania’s best high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award announced in December, Bodamer joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.), Wes Welker (1999-00, Heritage Hall HS, Okla.), Terrell Suggs (1999-00, Hamilton HS, Ariz.), Anquan Boldin (1998-99, Pahokee HS, Fla.) and Jerome Bettis (1989-90, Mackenzie HS, Mich.).
The 6-foot, 180-pound senior quarterback led the Gators to a 12-0 record this season entering the Class A state playoffs, scheduled to begin November 30. A returning Class A First Team All-State selection as named by Pennsylvania Football News, Bodamer has completed 194-of-267 passes (73 percent) for 3,522 yards and 49 touchdowns against just five interceptions through 12 games. He has rushed for 726 yards and 13 touchdowns on 105 carries. Also a defensive back, Bodamer recorded 22 tackles and four interceptions for a defense that surrendered an average of 10.3 points through 12 games. He will conclude his career as the state record-holder for passing yards, passing touchdowns and total offensive touchdowns.
Bodamer has maintained a 3.91 GPA in the classroom and served on his school’s student council and as his class secretary. A member of the French and varsity clubs as well as the National Honor Society, he has volunteered locally as a youth football instructor, on behalf of a library auction and as part of multiple peer leadership and elementary student mentorship programs.
“There are two main characteristics that distinguish Matt from other athletes,” said Port Allegany head coach Michael Bodamer. “The first is his willingness to make himself better. Over his four years of varsity football, Matt has arrived at the school at 6:30 in the morning for weightlifting and quarterback training sessions. The second characteristic is his desire to make his team better. He is willing to work with any team member at any time. Matt has received many accolades over the years, but he always gives the credit to his team.”
Bodamer remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Bodamer joins recent Gatorade Pennsylvania Football Players of the Year Noah Spence (2011-12, Bishop McDevitt High School), Brendan Nosovitch (2010-11, Allentown Central Catholic High School), Kyle Smith (2009-10, Lancaster Catholic), Zach Barket (2008-09, Schuylkill Haven Area High School) and Brendan Beal (2007-08, Liberty) among the state’s list of former award winners.
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