ShareThis Page

Chartiers Valley grad plays his way into Geneva record books

| Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 8:51 p.m.
Corey O'Patchen is only the fifth Geneva receiver to top 2,000 career yards. Submitted photo.
Signal Item
Corey O'Patchen is only the fifth Geneva receiver to top 2,000 career yards. Submitted photo.

Corey O'Patchen remembers looking through the Geneva football media guide when he arrived as a freshman and being in awe of what the all-time great Golden Tornado wide receivers achieved.

Four years later, his accomplishments will be remembered alongside those athletes.

“I remember seeing their numbers on the career record list and thinking it was a lot of yards,” O'Patchen said. “Then, four years flew by, and I am right there. I feel honored to be on the same lists as those players.”

The Chartiers Valley graduate finished his college career with 144 receptions, 2,311 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Those totals put him as No. 3 in career touchdown receptions and No. 4 in career receiving yards and pass receptions on the Golden Tornadoes' all-time lists.

It wasn't always easy for O'Patchen to be a playmaker for Geneva. He said during his freshman season, he got playing time, but the ball wasn't being thrown inh is direction. But during a game against Grove City, things started to change.

“I caught a few passes and made stuff happen,” O'Patchen said. “That game gave me a confidence that helped me take my game to a new level.”

O'Patchen finished his freshman season with 21 receptions and 219 yards. He saw a spike in production in his sophomore seasons, finishing with 35 receptions, 754 yards and 10 touchdowns.

One of the greatest challenges for O'Patchen the past two years was the change in the offensive philosophy. The Golden Tornadoes began running a two-quarterback system — junior Zack Hayward was brought in as a passer, whereas junior Rocco Colavecchia was used as more of an option quarterback.

“It was difficult knowing that one guy I would have to strictly be a blocker, while the other guy I would have to run downfield and catch passes,” O'Patchen said. “It worked out pretty well, though. The toughest thing was building chemistry.”

O'Patchen said to overcome the hurdle, the offense would stay after practice and meet up in the summer to build connections with both quarterbacks.

O'Patchen finished with 34 receptions for 505 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011 and finished this season with 54 receptions for 833 yards and seven touchdowns.

It was a tough season for the Golden Tornadoes as they finished 3-7 overall and 3-5 in the Presidents' Athletic Conference. Four of the losses were decided by a touchdown or less, and two came in overtime.

“Sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way,” O'Patchen said. “We lost some tight games we probably should have won.”

The season ended on a high note as Geneva defeated Westminster (Pa.), 33-14. O'Patchen had eight catches for 108 yards and a touchdown in his final game with the Golden Tornadoes.

“It felt really good to go out and get the win against a rival,” O'Patchen said.

O'Patchen said while his college career has been an exciting journey, the success he had will be a small part of what he takes away from it. He's more focused on the relationships he built along the way.

“Just meeting my teammates will last with me the rest of my life,” O'Patchen said. “I met guys who have become my best friends. These are guys that will be in my wedding someday.

“Football is just a game. I will know these guys a lot longer.”

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 412-388-5813.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.