Patch, a junior at Seabury, will become the school's first athletics letterman.
"That's quite an honor for me," Patch said. "It hasn't sunk in yet because it hasn't happened yet, but in the history of the entire school, I'm the first to get a letter. That's quite an honor to accept."
In his four years at Seabury, Patch has competed in baseball, basketball and, for a season, cross country.
He more than paid his dues for his forthcoming threads.
"The first year, we were everyone's doormat," he said. "We were the sacrificial lamb for surrounding schools. That was basically because of an age problem. We were all seventh-graders, competing against eighth- and ninth-graders. As the teams have grown, we've gotten more competitive."
Patch's athletics career has covered the spectrum, from his first season in baseball, when the Seahawks didn't win a game, to this past basketball season, when the Seahawks placed third at the Kansas Christian Athletic Assn. state tournament.
"We've gotten better every year," Patch said. "Considering the adversity we've had to face, I'm very proud that we've gotten as far as we've gotten in only our fourth year. One thing we have that a lot of schools don't have is, we've been together since Day One. We know how bad it can get."
Patch laments the fact he'll miss Seabury's big move into the Kansas State High School Assn. ranks. In 2002-03 -- the year after Patch graduates -- Seabury plans to compete in the KSHSAA's Class 1A.
"For myself, I'm disappointed I won't be a part of the first year when we're playing serious sports," he said. "But I'm proud of the fact I was instrumental in helping us get that far."
Would Patch, who's destined to be the first letter-winner in Seabury history, have similar success at Lawrence High, the public school he would have attended if he hadn't gone to Seabury?
"That's a real toss-up," he said. "In terms of basketball and baseball, I don't think I'd be starting on the varsity team or even playing in those games. There's so much competition. I think I'm an athletically gifted person, but I haven't put in the time I think it takes. I think it'd be a toss-up."
-- Associate sports editor Andrew Hartsock can be reached at 832-7216.