Former Quaker Valley quarterback Conlan turns out a winner
During his time on the Quaker Valley football team, Pat Conlan was not often described as a winner.
The Quakers won just one game across Conlan’s junior and senior years as quarterback during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
But since arriving at Hobart College in 2011, it seems all he has done is win.
Earlier this year, Conlan’s Class of 2015 became the winningest class in Hobart football history with 40 wins to just four losses.
“We have an awesome class,” Conlan said. “There were guys that came in as freshmen and contributed right away, and there are other guys who this is really their first year contributing. But regardless, we pride ourselves in doing things the right way and leading both on and off the field.”
For the third straight year, the Statesmen went 7-0 in Liberty League play this season, becoming just the eighth team in NCAA Division III history to reach the NCAA playoffs in four straight seasons.
Conlan, a 6-foot-1 senior, has been the starting quarterback for each of the last two seasons with a combined record of 21-1.
Although he’s been fortunate to experience better results at Hobart, Conlan learned how to bring a competitive drive on a daily basis during his time as a Quaker.
“It’s no secret that in my time at Quaker Valley we didn’t win that many games and we had some tough seasons,” Conlan said. “It was tough obviously, but at the same time, me and the guys that I played with in high school, we went out and competed every week. It’s tough to go out and play when you’re 0-7, but we had to do that.”
Coming into every game expecting to win like he does at Hobart is nothing new to Conlan, though. Most of his high school wins just happened to come on the hardwood instead of the turf.
“When I played basketball in high school, we had that mindset under (Coach Mike Mastroianni),” Conlan said. “We had a few 20-win seasons and we came out every night with the mindset that we were the better team and would come out on top.”
Conlan’s time as a signal-caller on the collegiate level has reinforced to him that quarterback is the most difficult position in football, he said. His time spent studying film and working on his craft over the last four years has made him appreciate the nuances of the position as well.
“For me in high school, you know the plays, so you go out and throw to who’s open,” Conlan said. “Here, it made me appreciate the position a lot more, because you realize how mental it is.”
Building a team as successful as Hobart has been over the last four seasons comes down to a lot more than just quarterback play, and Conlan was quick to recognize that. The Statesmen had 21 players receive All-Liberty League honors this season, including a league-high eight first team selections.
“It’s tough to play at a high level when the guys around you don’t,” Conlan said. “To have guys like our running backs and offensive line, they’re unbelievable. Each week we try to establish the run and make defenses pack the box against us. We have great receivers too, guys that will just go out and make plays.”
Conlan was a second team All-Conference selection this season but happens to be the only Liberty League quarterback still in contention for a national championship.
The Statesmen defeated Ithaca College, 22-15, in the first round of the NCAA playoffs Saturday thanks to two fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns by Conlan, including the game winner with 12 seconds remaining.
Hobart will face Johns Hopkins University in the second round at noon Saturday.