After such a magical season for Western football last year, quarterback Travis Partridge sees there being nowhere to go but up.
Being a large part of Western’s first outright MIAA conference title in school history, Partridge is now entering his last season as a Griffon.
The expectations are larger than ever.
“As a competitor of a top-notch program, you have to expect more. We expect more,” Partridge said.
Having several key players graduated and moved on, the expectations do present a large challenge. A challenge that Partridge sees as just another day at the office.
“Everybody loses somebody. Teams lose people. It’s the teams that can reload, and restock, and step up that win,” Partridge said.
With all of these expectations comes a lot of pressure, which is something that does not phase the senior quarterback.
“If you’re a competitor, you like that pressure,” Partridge said.
This season is about more than just football, though. It’s about a legacy.
The past two years, Partridge has led Western under center with several ups-and-downs, but this will be his last go-round with the team. An emotional time, for sure.
“It’s very surreal,” Partridge said. “There’s going to be a lot of emotions and hopefully they are positive.”
Trying not to focus too much on the fact of the matter, Partridge is just trying to enjoy his last year at Western.
“I am just really trying to enjoy my time here; it’s fun being around here,” Partridge said.
This season will also, most likely, be his last time being coached by his father, Jerry.
Partridge, who has a great relationship with his father, sees football as an all-consuming part of his life.
“We talk about football all the time, but that’s what people do. They talk about common interests,” Partridge said about their relationship.
While also recognizing that, don’t let their bloodline get in the way.
“We’re father and son out there and coach-player in here,” Partridge said.
Heading into his final season and coming off such a strong junior season, Partridge still sees a lot in his game that he can work on. He believes that any leader needs to be able to look at themselves and find what they need to improve on.
“You really need to look at yourself in the mirror and say: what do I need to change?” Partridge said.
The strong passion and determination that Partridge plays with has strong effects on his teammates and others around him.
Senior wide receiver Derek Libby attests to Partridge’s effect on the Griffon locker room.
“I’ve been playing with him for a long time, so we really have a feel for where he wants us to be,” Libby said. “He knows where we are going to be at every play.”
After his days at Western are over, Partridge won’t just have effected the program, but the program has effected him.
“I love this place,” Partridge said. “It’s fun to win at a place you’ve grown up loving.”
Unsure of what the future may hold for him, Partridge knows one thing. He knows that he will always be a part of the Western family.
“Who knows where I’ll be, but I’ll always be black and gold.”