When next football season rolls around, Andrew Goodman might have to tackle his greatest challenge yet.
The 18-year-old senior hopes to go from captain of the George Washington High School football team to earning a spot on the roster at Penn State University.
Making such a celebrated squad as a walk-on will take a lot of time in the gym to bulk up his 6-foot, 170-pound frame to the level of a collegiate tight end.
If Goodman's past work ethic is any indication, he certainly could be up to the task.
Along with his pigskin success — 23 receptions for 583 yards and six touchdowns last season — Goodman frequently put up double digits on the basketball court, and is the starting center fielder for the baseball team.
If that weren't enough, he's got a grade-point average higher than 4.0 (due to his enrollment in A.P. classes), and is ranked eighth in a senior class of more than 350 students.
A formative experience in his learning the finer points of football was a junior year spent riding the bench.
"I learned to soak everything in," he explained. "I watched my position. I watched the tight ends. Then, at practice, I tried as hard as I could to be better than them."
As a senior, his determination paid dividends.
By the time the Philadelphia Public League championship game rolled around, Goodman was pumped and ready to go. His 122 receiving yards broke a championship-game record and helped lead Washington to a victory.
This season, Goodman also emerged as a pivotal force on the basketball court and helped carry his team to the playoffs — a feat they failed to achieve the year before.
On Jan. 24, Goodman set a career high with 29 points in an 80-74 win against Northeast High School.
"They're our heated rivals," he said. "That was a big game that meant a lot for our playoff seeding."
Having completed the season just two weeks ago, Goodman was hesitant to gloat about his own accomplishments, favoring to discuss how the team's success would help Washington's younger players in years to come.
"It's good for the young guys," he said. "It gives them this year to build on."
Goodman said that in Public League football and basketball, there are not too many other Jewish players — and he sees standing out as an asset.
"I love being a minority in these sports," he pointed out. "Opponents overlook you, and then you surprise them."
'A Team Game'
Since he's now gearing up for baseball, the obvious question would have to be: Which game is his favorite?
"Football," he said without hesitation.
"You need 11 people on the field to do one thing. If one guy messes up, that's it," said Goodman. "It's more of a team game, not individual."
Along with current training for baseball, Goodman is hitting the weight room in the hopes of bulking up for the fall. The multi-talented athlete is realistic, however, about his goals and is prepared — just in case — for life after sports.
"I'm definitely going to miss it a lot," said Goodman. "I have to do something to set myself apart. If I'm not going to be able to play sports anymore, maybe, whatever major I choose — I'm thinking business — I've just got to excel in that."