Cody Patch, a senior from Lebanon High School, will not only receive an Ivy League education, but he will also be able to play college football at the Division I level - not a bad combination. And oh by the way, he will also play his college ball just TEN MINUTES AWAY from his hometown, so all of his friends and family can continue to follow his career.
Not a bad situation at all for Patch, who has recently committed to study and play football at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH (just 10 minutes from Lebanon High).
As a senior this past season, Patch led the Lebanon Raiders football team to a perfect 11-0 record and the Division IV state championship. He played running back on offense and linebacker on defense. He also returned kicks and punts, not to mention handling the punting duties for his team as well. Simply put, he did it for the Raiders to lead them to the title. He also played a few games early in the season despite being severely injured. He played through the pain and was still the best player on the field in every game he played in this season. Patch proved that he was not only the best player in Division IV. but he was also one of the top football players in the entire state. As a result he was selected as one of the 5 finalists for the 2010 WGAM Mr. Football Award.
Exclusive Interview With Cody Patch
When I found out about his commitment to Dartmouth I emailed him a few questions so that I could put this article together. I planned to just use a couple of short quotes from his responses and go from there. But I was so amazed by the thought and detail he put into his answers that I just had to use the whole thing. It is obvious that Cody is a very intelligent, well spoken young man. Here it is...
Jeremy Leveille: What other schools were you considering and what was the deciding factor in your 3decision to go to Dartmouth?
Cody Patch: I had always wanted to play for Dartmouth because I love playing for the home team. It is a great academic school and it will be nice to play close to home. Dartmouth also has a program that has seen great improvements in the past few years and is returning a lot of upperclassmen who started. I felt like they are putting together a solid program and wanted to be a part of it. Other schools that I applied to and were interested in me were University of Penn (Came to visit my home), Sacred Heart (official visit and offered a scholarship), UNH (preferred walk-on), Bates (offered a spot), Colby (offered a spot), Cornell, and LeHigh. Several other schools were interested but I did not apply there.
JL: Do they plan on having you play on offense or defense (linebacker or running back)?
CP: I was recruited to play offense but am going to help the team in any way possible whether it is special teams on kick off or I might find that I am a better fit playing as a linebacker, the secondary or even split out as a receiver.
JL: What are your thoughts on being able to play / go to school so close to home?
CP: I love where I live and how I grew up so it is amazing that I have an opportunity to keep giving back to the community because they have been so supportive throughout my life. It is a dream come true that Dartmouth chose me and I will work as hard as I always do to help out the program any way possible. It would be nice to fill Dartmouth's stadium the way we eventually put Lebanon's fan capacity to the test as well as win some Ivy League championships.
JL: What do you plan on studying at Dartmouth/major?
CP: Probably engineering or economics.
JL: This is a BIG accomplishment. What do you attribute your success to? On the football field and also in the classroom?
CP: All the hard work with my teammates and coaches from when I was a kid through high school is where the immediate credit goes. A lot goes to my family though as my parents taught me a work ethic and to see a job through, my dad put me to work and made me tough, which helped a lot during practice and games. However, credit can go especially to my brothers for training me and making me so tough and teaching me never to give up, I have grown up doing everything with them and trying to keep up, Artie is a senior engineering major at UNH and on the club baseball team, he also played in the Shrine Game. Josh is finishing his 6th year at Dartmouth getting his Masters in Engineering, he played baseball for a year there and then rowed for 4 years eventually being the captain of one of the top lightweight crew teams in the country. My brothers were also better than I was in the classroom so they would help me learn assignments and push me to study more. Wayne Burwell who was my speed coach helped out a lot and long time Track and Field coach Carl Wallin helped me a good deal with my strength training. The many years that Lebanon was not good and everyone doubted us helped gave us the determination to win helped me push myself to prove other people wrong. Also, all my friends that would come up to play back yard football or be supportive of me. John Lacombe who is the son of my 2nd grade teacher helped a lot during the recruiting process and I owe a lot of my coaches contacts to him. The list goes on....
People emphasize the athletics but it's education that opens doors. Learning has always been very important to my family. My sister, Catherine (Hanover Physical Education Teacher and former Golden Gloves Winner) and my mother are educators. I have had so many teachers and members of the community that have influenced me positively that it is hard to single out just a few.
Congrats to Cody, and best of luck to him at Dartmouth!