An old fan favorite will return for one more game to go out in style.
For some, it’s a chance to show what they got.
For Dom Carey, it’s a chance to go out in style.
Carey, a senior at Father Judge High School, will represent the Non-Public squad when it competes in the annual City All-Star Game at Northeast on Saturday. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m.
Since he’s already earmarked to continue his football career at Marist College, he goes into the game with nothing to prove. Still, he’s looking forward to getting back on the field.
“I can’t wait, it’s an honor to play in a game like this, and any chance I have to play football, I’m going to play,” said Carey, a 6-foot-3, 290-pound lineman who plans on playing both ways in the game. “We’re practicing now for it, and everyone is having fun. It’s an important game, but we’re having fun with it.”
Football has always been fun for Carey, but it’s been even better since he arrived at Judge.
Growing up in Mayfair, Carey attended Crusader football games for as long as he could remember. He also vividly remembers wanting to be one of the boys in blue. Now, he has one more shot to wear the helmet before he graduates.
“It’s been great, Judge has been great,” Carey said. “I always wanted to play here. And then to look back, I’ve had a great career. I still have one game left.”
In the fall, Carey made first team All-Catholic on both sides of the ball, and he played a key role in helping the Crusaders win six games in the Catholic League Red Division, a division that produced two state champions and included some of the best teams in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
If he didn’t know how strong the Catholic League was, he knows now after lining up against its grunts during practice for the all-star game.
“Every day, it’s a battle,” Carey said. “They’re big, strong and quick. I am getting better just going up against them.
“I’ve been lucky because I had Earl Volz. He’s one of my best friends, and we would work together a lot during practice at Judge, just trying to make each other better. He’s very fast, so it was tough for me. And on offense, he and I played next to each other so we worked really well together.”
Like Carey, Volz will also play in the showcase, along with fellow Judge seniors Rob King (quarterback), Mark Kellam (linebacker), Frank Conway (receiver) and Jeremy Smith (receiver).
This group of Crusaders hasn’t played together since facing Abraham Lincoln on Thanksgiving, which was a memorable day for Carey.
“The last time I played, I had the greatest hit I’ve ever had in my entire life,” Carey said. “It was on an interception. Justin (Gies) got it and was returning it, and I leveled someone. He popped right up but it was a great hit.
“Justin told me he didn’t score because he was watching the hit. It was a great hit. It was on one of the last plays, too, so it was a great way for the season to end.”
Carey will look for another monster hit during the all-star game, but no matter what happens, he’s happy he’s able to write another chapter during his high school career.
Not only will he be playing with five of his teammates, he’ll be playing for Mike McKay, the Crusaders’ coach.
“It’s great, because he’s the coach, we’re practicing at Judge, so we’re at home,” Carey said. “And it’s good because he knows what I can do. I’m going to get a chance to play both ways. I think I’m starting (on defense), but I’m going to get a chance to play offense and defense. He knows I can do both.”
This summer, Carey will prepare for college by hitting the weight room hard. When he’s not working out, he’ll be working hard.
“I’m going to do some work, mostly as a laborer,” said Carey, who will enter college without a major. “Mostly demolition, cleanup. It’s hard work, but the money is great. I don’t care what I’m doing if I’m getting paid.”
In August, it’ll be time again for football.
“I’m very happy with Marist,” Carey said. “The coaches are great, I loved the campus, and it isn’t far. It had everything I’m looking for.”
And everything his family is looking for.
Carey was a fan favorite during his time at Judge, and his cheering section could be heard throughout the stadium.
The group, which was led by his family, definitely gave Carey all the motivation he needed to knock people around.
“They always sit at the 50-yard line and I can hear them,” Carey said. “I’m lucky to have them. They came out to every game. My dad is already planning road trips for next year. I can’t wait.”