Feb. 10, 2013
Following an award-jammed senior season which included breaking every major PIAA passing record during Port Allegany High School’s run to the Pennsylvania Class A state semifinals and being named to the MaxPreps.com Small-School All-American first team, Matt Bodamer has chosen to continue his football career at Edinboro University.
“In the end, Edinboro’s program was really for me,” said the Gator standout after signing his National Letter of Intent earlier this week. “Their academic program, which is engineering management – I didn’t find any other school that had that – and their football coaches are great. I’ve watched multiple PSAC games, and it’s great football. It’s a place that I’m comfortable with, around the area. When you get the right feeling – I can’t really explain it other than that. It was a hard decision between Kutztown and Edinboro, but it just felt right.”
For Port Allegany head coach Mike Bodamer, the decision makes sense both on and off the field for his son, who earned the Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year and Pa. Football News “Mister Football” awards along with becoming just the second two-time Olean Times Herald Big 30 Player of the Year.
“From when he first started, that’s always been one of his goals, to go on and play at the next level. That’s what he’s been working for,” he said. “He had some walk-on offers at some of the Division I schools, but I think Division II is a better fit for him and the PSAC is a really, really good football league. It’s a tremendous style of football. I think he’s just better suited – with his size, and he needs to work on his arm strength a little bit – but I think he has a better chance of playing. I just can’t see him going someplace to sit for three or four years before he has a chance at it.”
The younger Bodamer – who carries a 3.91 GPA – decided Edinboro was the right fit in the classroom, too, since the school offers a program which combines engineering and business concentrations.
“It’s a basic engineering degree plus a management degree, almost like an MBA. This is the only program I’ve seen like that,” he said. “Anywhere else, I would’ve had to get a physics or engineering degree, then go on and get my MBA afterward.”
And the fact that it’s just a couple hours away from Port Allegany doesn’t hurt, either.
“During his search, he kind of limited himself because he didn’t want to go too far away from home, so that really limited the number of schools,” Mike Bodamer said. “We had calls from Texas and California and places like that, but he didn’t even want to begin to look there. He wanted to find something close to home.”
Matt explained, “I wanted to stay within a six-hour area. My brother’s in the area at Gannon, two hours away from here and an hour away from my grandparents and everyone in Oil City, and a couple hours from Pittsburgh where my sister is. I just know the area so well, and that added to the comfort factor.”
Edinboro competes in the Division II Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, comprised of the 13 football-playing members of the state public university system plus private schools Gannon, Mercyhurst, and LIU – C.W. Post. The Fighting Scots finished 3-4 (4-6 overall) in the PSAC West in 2012 under seventh-year head coach Scott Browning.
(updated story with quotes for Feb. 14, 2013 Reporter Argus)