Bonner-Prendergast's Ockimey a good catch on both sides of the ball

Posted: October 09, 2012

IN FOOTBALL, IT'S not uncommon for long touchdowns to be compared with home runs.

Now, Michael Ockimey knows the feeling that's often experienced by his fraternal twin, Josh.

Josh, a slugging first baseman likened by some to Ryan Howard, already has drawn major raves through two baseball seasons at Ss. Neumann-Goretti High. Michael, who's older by 1 minute, opted for what's now Bonner-Prendergast and you could say he went deep Saturday as the Friars topped Lansdale Catholic, 28-9, in a Catholic AAA game at Upper Darby.

Right before halftime, erasing a 3-0 deficit, the 6-3, 185-pound junior safety (also a wideout) returned a leaping interception for a 77-yard TD.

Coming off a minor left-hip injury, which caused him to miss one game, Ockimey added another pilfer along with three catches for 49 yards and a second score.

Of his pick six, Ockimey said, "It felt amazing to go up in the air and catch the ball and run it downfield. I could see the crowd and their cheers got me more excited, more amped, to take it all the way down. And I was able to do that, thanks to great blocks from Joe DePhillipo and John Durkin.

"That was pretty much a first. I did have a big interception for the freshman team, but I never experienced making a play like that in a varsity game in that kind of atmosphere.

"Even on defense, your attitude has to be, 'See ball. Go get ball.' "

Football glamour is still rather new for Ockimey. In 8 years of weight ball with the Darby Township Eagles, he was always a tackle and defensive end. Then he tried out for Bonner's freshman squad and . . .

"When I told them where I played, they said, 'No, no, no no. You can't play those positions. We're going to put you at wideout and safety and see what you've got,' " Ockimey said. "I've never looked back at that. Thank goodness they put me at these positions."

The twins live near 78th and Lindbergh, in deep Southwest Philly, and split up for high school because Josh figured his best bet for baseball would be N-G while Michael was intrigued by then-Bonner's football profile.

At night, they discuss their assorted days and often, thanks to video, critique each other's performances with help from their dad, Michael.

When time permits, the twins have two kinds of catches.

Who's the better thrower in the other's sport?

"That'd be me," Michael said, laughing. "Remember, he's a first baseman . . . "

So, his passes wind up in the street?

"Or going into somebody's window."

DePhillipo managed 78 rushing yards while Christian DiGalbo, filling in for injured star Jim Haley, passed for 200 yards and the score to Ockimey. Kevin Sabo ran for LC's touchdown and quarterback Patrick Duggan kicked a field goal.

In college, perhaps the Ockimeys will get back to day-long togetherness.

"I wish that would happen," Michael said. "I'm doing my sport. He's doing his. For the same college? That'd be nice."

Contact Ted Silary at

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