Coatesville senior quarterback Ricky Ortega is likely to rack up the passing yards and touchdowns this season.

He’s likely to rack up the records, too.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Ortega, a Villanova commitment, is a four-year starter with a chance to mark his name at the top of the record book in several categories, according to local sports historian Chuck Langerman.

Ortega enters this season, which starts for Coatesville Aug. 23 at home with a PIAA 6A state semifinal rematch with Harrisburg, with 7,768 career passing yards and 102 career touchdowns.

Coatesville senior quarterback Ricky Ortega has led the Red Raiders to the PIAA 6A state semifinals in each of the last two seasons.
Bob Williams For The inquirer
Coatesville senior quarterback Ricky Ortega has led the Red Raiders to the PIAA 6A state semifinals in each of the last two seasons.

Ortega already holds the Southeastern Pennsylvania record for career touchdown passes. But here are the marks within his reach, according to Langerman’s research:

  • Can become the first Philadelphia-area (which includes Southeastern Pa. and South Jersey) quarterback to throw for 2,000 yards in each of his four seasons. The only area quarterbacks to do it in three seasons are Ortega, La Salle’s Brett Gordon, and Timber Creek’s Devin Leary.
  • Needs 784 yards to set the Southeastern Pa. record for career passing yards, eclipsing the mark of 8,551 set in 2016 by Perkiomen Valley’s Stephen Sturm.
  • Needs 1,905 yards and four touchdown passes to set the Philadelphia area records for career passing yards and touchdown passes, topping the marks of 9,672 yards and 105 touchdowns set by Leary in 2017.
  • Needs 2,232 passing yards for 10,000 in his high school career.
  • Needs 36 touchdown passes to set the Pennsylvania state record, breaking the mark of 137 established by Matt Bodamer of Port Allegany Junior-Senior High in 2012.

"The past three years have flown by, so I’m trying to take everything in, take everything slow,” Ortega said earlier this summer. “This is my senior year, my last year, my last shot to get our team and our city a state championship.”

Playing for his father, Coatesville head coach Matt Ortega, Ricky Ortega passed for 2,237 yards and 25 touchdowns as a freshman, 3,270 yards and 42 touchdowns as a sophomore, and for 2,261 yards and 35 touchdowns as a junior.

In each of the last two seasons, Coatesville has lost in the PIAA 6A state semifinals.

Coatesville’s opener with Harrisburg will mark the third time the teams have played in the last 367 days. Coatesville beat Harrisburg, 37-6, in the Aug. 25, 2018 season opener, however Harrisburg turned the tables and beat Coatesville, 27-24, in the state semifinals Dec. 1.

The next week, Harrisburg lost to St. Joe’s Prep in the 6A title game.

"Me and my team, we’re working really hard in the weight room and out on the field to get better and get back at Harrisburg and hopefully get over that hump,” Ortega said.