It’s been a little over two months since Patrick O’Hagan saw his 13-year stint at Ethical Culture Fieldston School come to a close. But even now the former two-sport star in football and lacrosse remains somewhat tethered to his alma mater, dropping by for regular visits to his old stomping grounds.
“I do miss it,” Patrick said. “I’m up at Fieldston a couple of days a week and working out on the field and in the gym. I’ve been up there maybe three days a week just using their (facilities) to work out. But it’s a little tough. It’s hard to go up there sometimes.”
But come Aug. 26, there no longer will be time to hang around his old high school. That’s when college comes calling for Patrick and a trip upstate to Colgate University.
“I’m so excited for what’s ahead,” Patrick said. “I think I have this wonderful opportunity to not only play college lacrosse and have some fun, but I also fell in love with the university pretty early on. I never thought it was going to be a place that I could actually go to, but when I got in, it was just awesome. I’m just so excited for what the next four years hold for me.”
Patrick will attempt to walk on the varsity lacrosse team at Colgate. But that plan hit an unexpected speed bump recently when the school announced a change in the coaching staff.
“It’s kind of funny,” he said. “I was in contact with the coaching staff throughout the year, and at the end of the semester, the coach (Mike Murphy) resigned. Actually I think he was just asked not to come back and then they just hired a new coach (Matt Karweck) about a week ago. So I’m going to try and get in touch with him in the next couple of days and see what the deal will be for the fall.”
Lacrosse season doesn’t commence until February so Patrick has time to figure all that out. What he doesn’t need to dwell on anymore is why he chose Colgate as his collegiate home. It was simply a case of love at first sight.
“Right off the bat I knew I wanted kind of a smaller, rural school with really great academics,” said Patrick, the older of the twin O’Hagan boys by a full minute. “And their liberal arts program really interested me because they do a really good job of getting their students to take a bunch of different classes, which kind of lets you branch out and try some new things. And the campus is gorgeous and it’s in a really great location.”
Between working, attending summer camps and preparing for a hoped-for college lacrosse career, Patrick’s days at Fieldston seem like a distant memory.
“I do feel very distant from it at this point,” he said. “Just from talking to people about where I’m going to college and what I’m going to be doing and what I want to do with my life, I feel like high school was so long ago.”
And one other big change that’s coming down the pike for O’Hagan will be going his separate way from twin brother, Pierce, It will be the first time in their lives the two siblings will not attending the same school.
That may take some getting used to.
“I’m sure it’s going to be a little weird after we shared a bedroom for the last 18 years,” Patrick said. “It’s definitely going to be hard at first having a roommate that’s not your brother. I mean we pretty much do everything together. But I think it will be a good time. There will be some separation angst, but I think we’ll be OK.”
“I feel like, personally, I’m moving on from a lot of things,” Pierce said. “In the last couple of months — with graduating from Fieldston and moving out of the apartment in Riverdale that we lived in for our whole lives — Patrick and I are kind of going our separate ways.”
Pierce is getting ready for the first semester at his dream school — Boston College. And he’s just as excited about this new chapter in his life as he would be lining up on the football field against archrival Riverdale Country School.
“It was actually the first school that I visited when I was doing college tours,” said Pierce, who was a stud linebacker and tight end for Fieldston. “Also, a couple of my cousins went there, and they absolutely loved it. And when I went there, I actually saw myself being successful there and doing well. I just loved it.”
Football is now in the rearview mirror for Pierce, but he’s not done satisfying his competitive side. He plans to play club lacrosse, and may even take on some sports to the intramural level.
“But nothing too serious,” he added.
Pierce spent a good part of the summer working at a bar back at the legendary Bawdy Barn in Hampton Bays. When he wasn’t clocking in there, Pierce was busy making numerous trips to haul items from the family’s old Riverdale apartment to their new digs in Throggs Neck.
“We moved out of Riverdale just last week,” Pierce said. “So a lot of the summer, Patrick and I were back and forth running stuff over there.”
Pretty soon, Pierce will pack up again, this time for Newton, Massachusetts, where he will go from a Fieldston Eagle to a Boston College Eagle. He leaves on Aug. 22.
Pierce will no longer wake in the same bedroom as his twin. But that’s been kind of the loose plan for a couple of years now.
“Since our sophomore year, when we were emailing college lacrosse coaches because that’s what we both wanted to play in college, we weren’t going to let each other dictate where we wanted to go to school,” Pierce said. “It just ended up that we were interested in different things, and wanted different things.”
But the distance shouldn’t get to either of them. Hopefully.
“We’re not too far apart, and we’ll always be home for the holidays and things like that,” Patrick said. “So I’m not too worried about it just yet.”
Pierce is ready to turn living with his twin to visiting the twin — as long as he gets to roll out the welcome mat.
“I’m going to be in a major city, so he can come visit whenever he wants,” Pierce said, laughing. “But I may also visit him because one of our friends that we played football with at Fieldston, Nick Francoeur, is also going to Colgate. And we also have two friends — one is going to Syracuse, and one is going to Cornell. So I think if I make my way over there, they will also make the trek to Colgate.”
But one thing that the separation can’t end is the constant competition between the two brothers. Only Patrick isn’t quite sure yet what they will compete over next.
“I don’t know if it will be over which school is better,” he said, laughing. “We’re both going to visit each other and I think we’ll find out that there are great things about both institutions. But the competition will never die. We’ll find some other thing to compete with each other in that’s for sure.”
“Oh yeah, for sure,” Pierce added. “We’re still brothers, so nothing is going to change too much.”