• 52°

College signing: Patch to Wingate

By Ronnie Gallagher
Salisbury Post
When it comes to football, Josh Patch couldn’t have had a better year:
– He was a member of what will be remembered as a special senior class, the one that brought winning back to East Rowan.
– Then, he received a scholarship from Wingate to continue that career.
– When he gets to the South Atlantic Conference school, he’ll be roommates with fellow Mustang senior David Fox.
Patch reported for duty back in the fall at East wondering if he would be caught in a downward spiral, even though Brian Hinson had taken over. No one expected the Mustangs to win in 2007, including some of the seniors. It was up to Patch to help change that mind-set.
“At first, I don’t think we thought we could do as well,” Patch said, “but eventually, everybody caught on and we started playing better.”
The end result was a seven-win season.
“Actually, I thought we could’ve done better,” Patch said.
But winning catches the eye of college recruiters. And they noticed a versatile lineman named Patch who could play both sides of the ball effectively.
“Personally, I think he can be a better offensive lineman in college,” Hinson said.
Patch agreed, saying he thought he did better on that side. But Wingate had other ideas. The Bulldog staff has Patch penciled in on defense.
“I’ll be playing D-tackle,” Patch said. “I guess they saw my athleticism. And my size wasn’t big enough to play offense.
“As long as I get to hit somebody, it doesn’t matter where I am.”
The 6-1, 250-pounder chose Wingate over Concord (W. Va.), Chowan and Brevard.
“I think a lot of teams missed out on Patch,” Hinson said.
The best part of going to Wingate for Patch is that his friendship with Fox will continue. Fox will be a long snapper for the Bulldogs and roommate of Patch.
“We’ve played football together since the third grade,” Patch said. “We went to the same elementary school. I didn’t want to get dropped off by myself. I wanted to have somebody with me.”
On Wingate’s field, Patch is expecting big things.
“It’s going to be a fun couple of years,” he said. “I grew up watching Catawba, and we’re going to beat them a couple of times.”

Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or rgallagher@salisburypost.com.

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