Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Pius Senior Finds His Niche In Sports Reporting

By STEPHEN O'KANE, Staff Writer | Published May 13, 2010

St. Pius X senior Patrick Tighe learned more than algebra or grammar during his four years in high school. For him, it has been a time of learning, growing and facing new opportunities with a positive attitude and a good heart.

Patrick, one of a set of triplets, is not hesitant to tell you about his favorite experiences at Pius, whether it’s time spent with its celebrated teacher, Msgr. Richard Lopez, or watching Pius beat rival Marist in football. He and his sisters, Katie and Maggie, are all seniors there.

But perhaps the most interesting thing is to hear his stories of working with the Pius football team as a reporter. In fact, he describes the job as one of his favorite high school memories. Sitting in the press box with his laptop, taking notes and writing stories about the games has given Patrick a functional and truly unique way to be a part of the team.

St. Pius X High School senior will attend Auburn University, Auburn, Ala., in the fall, where he plans to study journalism. Photo By Michael Alexander

“I wanted to do something to help out the football program,” he said about the reporter position, which he held for all four years. “ Even though we never won the state championship or anything, it felt really rewarding and beneficial to know all the guys on the team and just to be a part of the program.”

Patrick has even picked up some freelance work, submitting his football stories to the weekly Dunwoody Crier, which covers North Atlanta.

In addition to honing his writing and reporting skills, he has also taken home important lessons about the role faith plays in one’s life from faculty and school chaplain Father Dan Rogaczewski.

“In high school, obviously, it’s kind of hard with all the temptations to keep motivated with your faith,” said Patrick. “I’ve learned through Father Lopez and Father Dan, who have been great mentors for me, about how important your faith is to get you through different obstacles.”

He has learned that this lesson can be applied to every aspect of life, whether it be sports, school or family.

The son of Frank and Ellen Tighe, and a member of All Saints Church in Dunwoody, Patrick plans to attend Auburn University next year, his father’s alma mater. He remembers trips to Auburn for football games growing up and hopes to continue writing when he gets there and major in journalism.

“I hope to write for their newspaper, The Plainsman,” said Patrick. “I’ve really always enjoyed guys who have done radio shows. I want to try and get my own thing in sports radio someday.”

In the immediate future, he is looking forward to graduating and preparing for college. He knows there will be some adjustments, but he is ready to face the challenges. It is a similar experience to starting high school so Patrick was happy to pass along a little advice to those upcoming freshmen who might be a little nervous about entering a new school.

“It’s going to take awhile to get used to all of the aspects of high school,” he said. “The biggest thing is having patience. And pick solid friends who you know can help you out through difficult ordeals. … I have a lot of solid friends who have helped me out through a lot of different stuff.”

“He’s one of the kindest kids in the school,” said Principal Steve Spellman, who described Patrick as loving and compassionate. It is a view shared by other Pius staff members.

“He is better for having been here and we are a better institution for having him here,” said Mark Kelly, athletic director for Pius. “There isn’t a person in the school who doesn’t love him.”