Gators No. 1 in final Olean Times Herald poll; Bodamer claims Big 30 Player of Year Award

From left to right, 2011 Big 30 All-Stars Tyce Miller, Nick Budd, Matt Bodamer, and Charlie Buchanan. (Lori Chase / Reporter Argus)

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
November 17, 2011

A congregation of Gators was on hand for Tuesday night’s 44th annual Olean Times Herald Big 30 Football Testimonial, with a quartet of players named to the all-star team and Matt Bodamer capturing the night’s biggest prize, the Gary Sage Memorial Player of the Year Award.

Bodamer is just the second Port Allegany representative among the 53 players to claim the Big 30’s highest honor, which has been given out by the Times Herald since 1960. He joins running back Barry Bova, who won the award after his senior season in 1978.

“It’s such an honor,” the junior quarterback said. “I know how much it means, with my dad being a coach and everything.”

According to statistics at, Bodamer currently leads the entire state of Pennsylvania with 2,886 passing yards on 184 completions in 275 attempts and is tied with Pius X sophomore A.J. Long for the state lead with 35 touchdown passes. He continues to climb the career passing rankings as well, moving past Clearfield’s Chad Kroell into third place in District 9 history and 29th overall with 6,117 yards, and his 73 touchdown passes are good for 14th place, one shy of tying current Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne.

Matt Bodamer, the 2011 Gary Sage Memorial Award recipient as the Olean Times Herald's Big 30 Player of the Year. (Lori Chase / Reporter Argus)

Of course, someone has to make a play on the receiving end of all those passes, too, something the Big 30 All-Star Committee recognized by naming a pair of Gators, Tyce Miller and Charlie Buchanan, as the only wideouts on the 31-man squad. Miller, a 5-foot-10, 160-pound junior, ranks sixth in the state in yardage (977) and is tied for fourth in touchdown catches (14), with Buchanan, a 5-foot-9, 150-pound senior, piling up another 678 yards and tied for 13th place with 10 touchdowns.

“That’s why Matt has so many yards, because those kids can catch the ball. That’s what they do,” head coach Mike Bodamer said following the Union game.

Two-way lineman Nick Budd, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound junior with 55 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a fumble recovery, was named to the team at defensive tackle.

The elder Bodamer nearly claimed an award of his own, being named a finalist for the Alfred Joe Bunnell-Rod Rohl Memorial Coach of the Year Award which went to Salamanca’s Jason Marsh. Pioneer linebacker Tony Lock repeated as the Lou Foy Memorial Award winner for Defensive Player of the Year.

Port Allegany also earned a tie for the top spot in the final Times Herald large-school poll with Wellsville, which won the first Section V championship in school history. Coudersport claimed the No. 1 ranking in the small-school poll.

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