ADAMS TWP — With 2020 being all about the coronavirus pandemic, high school seniors will certainly never forget this year.
Mars senior Michael Carmody would have remembered his regardless.
It's been like no other.
The 6-foot-7, 295-pound Carmody was recently named first team all-state in basketball by the Pennsylvania Sports Writers Association. He received that same honor as an offensive lineman in football last fall.
“He's a very talented kid and a very special person,” Mars football coach and athletic director Scott Heinauer said. “These are two totally different sports. You don't see many kids playing both sports anymore.
“To stand out the way he has is a tribute to his athletic ability.”
Rob Carmody, Michael's father and Mars boys basketball coach, described his son's senior year in high school as unique.
“He gets all-state in football, plays in the All-American Bowl in Texas, in the Polynesian Bowl in Hawaii, helps the basketball team win another section title, get to the WPIAL finals, leads the nation in rebounding, then gets all-state again ... it's just something else,” Coach Carmody said.
Michael takes it all in stride.
He weighed over 300 pounds for football, trimmed down to 280 for basketball and is now pounding the weights getting ready to begin his collegiate football career as an offensive lineman at Notre Dame.
“I made second team all-state in basketball last year and felt like I had a better season this year,” Carmody said. “When it actually happened (getting named first team), I can't say it surprised me. But I definitely appreciated it and I'm excited about the achievement.”
Carmody averaged 19 points and 19 rebounds per game for the Planets this season.
“When I think of guys who have made all-state in both sports, I think of people like Phil Jurkovec (Pine-Richland), Terrelle Pryor (Jeannette), Malik Hooker (New Castle) ... the skill position football players,” Coach Carmody said.
“For a lineman to do this as a center in basketball — especially in a division as high as 5A — there may be somebody else out there who's done that, but I can't think of anybody.”
Carmody plans to major in engineering or business at Notre Dame. His original reporting date with the Fighting Irish was to be June 13.
“The day after our high school graduation,” his father said.
That date has since moved back to July 7.
“I'm looking forward to it,” Carmody said. “My immediate goal is to compete for a job on the offensive line. I'm listed as a tackle right now, but that can change. I'm preparing to play any position on the line.
“They don't want me to report at any particular weight or anything. I may be red-shirted ... I'll transition in any way they see fit.”
Carmody is closing the door on competitive basketball — something that isn't coming easily.
“Basketball was my first love,” he said. “Seeing the success (older brother) Robby realized through the game, I wanted to follow suit.
“By freshman year, my body began to change. I realized I was gonna be too big and football was the way to go.”
While Robby is playing basketball at Notre Dame, Michael will be on the gridiron.
“I'm sure we'll get together during off-time and shoot baskets together,” Michael said.
He added that he'll be keeping an eye on the Planet basketball team back home. Mars will be gunning for its ninth consecutive section crown next season.
“We've taken pride as a program to take ownership of our section,” Michael said. “I'd love to see that streak get to 10 straight years. I'm rooting for those guys. That would be an accomplishment.”
Heinauer believes Michael Carmody is far from finished when it comes to athletic accomplishments of his own.
“If he has the kind of college football career I think he's gonna have, we're going to be reading a lot more about him — for a long time,” Heinauer said. “Our entire school community is proud of that kid.”