It came at the Class AAAAA track and field state championships, where the senior won the high jump with a mark of 6 feet, 10 inches.
“I’m happy that I won,” Goodman said. “Mainly, I got second last year and came so close to getting (a state title). This year, it was the straight determination to do it. That was a big thing for me. Getting my (personal record), and almost getting a new one, was a big thing.”
The 2011-12 Cherokee Tribune Male Athlete of the Year had already been selected as the county’s top track and field athlete for his successes in the high jump, along with his stature as one of Etowah’s top sprinters.
During football season, Goodman was a standout defensive back for the Eagles, finishing with 62 total tackles, good enough for fourth-best on the team. Although he had just one interception, Goodman’s leaping ability was enough to wreak havoc with opposing receivers.
But more than that, Goodman had tenacity for finding opposing blockers and ball-carriers.
“Brandon was a very physical player,” said Bill Stewart, the former Etowah football coach, who resigned after the season for a position in Alabama. “His work ethic in the weight room was incredible and made him a great player. He was a great leader for our football team. He had a good attitude every day.”
More than just the ability to play at a high level, Goodman enjoyed the additional aspects of playing football in his final year of high school.
“Mainly, there’s nothing like being a senior football player,” he said. “It’s different from every other year you play. There’s more of a sense of leadership to it. You have to lead a team and set an example. You can’t just do whatever. It turns you into a better overall person. You have a sense of leadership and bond more with your teammates more than you would any other year.”
During track season, there may be less opportunity for camaraderie, but there’s more opportunity for personal achievement.
For Goodman, that meant more time working on his form and his endurance. After doing his regular workouts on the track, Goodman said that he would work on his high jump form.
“It’s better to work on form when you’re tired because, when you’re not, then you will know that you have it,” Goodman said.
Though Goodman worked mostly on his form alone, he did have help from time to time from former teammate Andrew Vermilya.
“He helped me with my approach on the bar and making sure I had a faster snap over the bar,” Goodman said. “He said I was spending too much time over the bar and was never coming down on it.”
Goodman learned to put more arch into his back in order to clear greater heights, setting the foundation for his future high marks, particularly the one he set at the state championship.
After performing at a high level during track over his career, Goodman earned a scholarship to compete in the sport at the U.S. Naval Academy. Although the opportunity to learn at the Annapolis, Md., campus is a good one, it also requires a year of military service after going to school for four years.
“I took time to think about it,” Goodman said. “Overall, I decided that it was the best possible opportunity that I could set myself up with in life. I had some relatives that were in the Navy. I talked to them about it. It’s a five-year commitment. … It was a better avenue than any other college.”