You’ve heard of Matt McGloin, of course. You’ve also heard of Eric Shrive and, if you follow college football in Pennsylvania or know a little something about Pitt, you know Hubie Graham too.
But unless you live in Scranton, you probably have never heard of Chase Passeri.
Passeri was a receiver on those West Scranton teams that McGloin, Shrive and Graham have become the faces of the last few years through their work at Penn State and Pitt. But trust me, Passeri was pretty darn good. McGloin has been asked a few times in the past few years about playing under pressure and making big plays when it counts, and he always talks about a touchdown pass he threw in the final 10 seconds of a District II Class AAA championship game against Crestwood. It went for a touchdown and West’s first-ever district title. I believe it was Passeri that caught the pass.
Passeri had his demons, though, and like many immature kids, he made a series of bad decisions that led to a horrible mistake. This mistake nearly cost himself and three friends their lives.
Now, after spending time in prison, Passeri is trying to atone for his mistakes the best way he knows how: By encouraging high school students not to look at life the way he did. My longtime colleague David Falchek wrote the piece I linked to above. I think it’s a must-read. It’s a sad story, in a lot of ways. But maybe, Passeri is on the road to rewriting the ending.