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by Andrew Korba
When Robert Partridge ’15 arrived at Hiram College in 2013, he had hopes of bringing success to the football program. He will graduate in May knowing that he fulfilled this dream, although it did not come easily.
The 2013 football season was going to be different. The Terriers were fielding one of the strongest teams in recent memory, which was highlighted by a season opening 23-19 win over Westminster College. Partridge threw for 292 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for another. The season looked bright.
Then disaster struck. Not only did the Terriers fall 17-12 in a closely contested game to Denison University, but Partridge broke his foot, ending the game – and his hopes of playing that season. Unfortunately, numerous players suffered injuries over the course of the season, and Hiram finished 2-8. The record was not what Partridge had in mind.
Partridge returned to Hiram fully healthy for 2014. He had the exact same mindset as 2013. Head Coach Randy Moore knew how driven he was and knew this season was going to be different.
“Rob was going to do whatever he could to make 2014 a season to remember,” said Moore. “He emerged as a true leader for us. The most important thing to him was to make the program successful this season and in the years to come.”
But, when the 2014 season began, it seemed like the recent struggles would continue. The Terriers found themselves down 24-3 at halftime and 27-3 midway through the third quarter in their season opener at Westminster. Partridge led a second half comeback for the ages. He threw for three scores, including the game-winner with 19 seconds left, to give Hiram a 30-27 victory. He followed that performance the next week with 259 yards passing and two touchdowns, giving the Terriers a 36-27 win over Denison. And so the season continued.
When the season ended, Partridge had etched his name into the record books. He threw for a school record 2,167 yards, breaking the school record of 1,990 set in 1985. He accumulated 2,317 yards of total offense – also a new school record – and was named Honorable Mention All-NCAC after the record breaking season. In November, he represented Hiram and Team USA in the Aztec Bowl in Chihuahua, Mexico; he was one of just 42 players selected to play for Team USA. He threw two touchdowns to lead Team USA to a 24-21 win over the Organizacíon Nacional Estudiantil de Futbol Americano All-Stars in front of more than 25,000 spectators.
What Partridge does on the football field is only part of who he is, and like many of Hiram’s student-athletes, he has impressive academic accomplishments. The political science major is one of the
most active members of the football team in community service events. He is also a scholar of the Garfield Center for Public Leadership – a demanding, rigorous and highly competitive program that selects only 24 students to participate actively in the Garfield Seminars, engage with public leaders on and off campus and demonstrate scholarship.
Although Partridge’s college athletic career may be over, it certainly won’t be forgotten. He has left a legacy at Hiram College – both on and off the football field.