As an eighth grader, Peter Goodman was known as his middle school’s top athlete.
So when a new kid moved in — a tall boy who played basketball and football like Goodman — a rivalry could have begun.
Instead, Goodman and Mike Knox became fast friends and, in the five years since, developed a bond that has led to shared success on the football field and the basketball court.
“We have the same personality,” Goodman said. “People who didn’t know us and met us together would think we were blood brothers.”
“From day one, we had a chemistry outside of sports,” Knox said.
They took nearly every class together, played together at neighborhood basketball courts and spent a lot of time at each other’s homes.
And they drew the attention of the high school coaches.
“We identified them in eighth grade that they could be special athletes and we talked to them and their parents about it,” said C.A. Johnson football coach Jerry Jackson.
Now seniors, Knox and Goodman are exceptional athletes.
Knox leads the Hornets at quarterback, with Goodman as his primary receiver, and both also play on defense.
“They have a chemistry, and they love each other and that makes a difference among teammates,” Jackson said.
“They’ve learned each other so well, they can give each other these signals when things need to change, and it works.”
That connection helped the Hornets win last year’s game against Great Falls.
“It was crazy,” Goodman said. “He was trying to connect with me most of the game, but then in the end, he came to me three times in a row. I caught every pass, and the last one was the game winner.”
Knox has thrown for 1,532 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, and Goodman has hauled in 21 catches for 586 yards and four touchdowns.
Jackson said the pair is getting interest from most in-state schools, including S.C. State, as well as Hampton and UNC Charlotte.
Limestone wants Knox and Goodman as a QB-receiver pair. Clemson is considering Knox as an athlete and Goodman as a defensive back.
“There’s a good chance they could end up playing together in college,” Jackson said.
“I would love that, especially if we could still be on offense together,” Goodman said. “But now it’s up to God where we go.”
Knox added, “But no matter where we go, together or separate, there’s always going to be this bond, this brotherhood.”