Cumberland Times-News

December 8, 2012

Coach Preaskorn served as role model at most difficult time


Cumberland Times-News

— To whom it may concern:

I was 12 years old when I first met Tom Preaskorn. At the time, I did not know much about him. I was a laid back, shy, quiet young person who was having trouble fitting in at school after being home-schooled for three years.

My sister had just started volunteering as the equipment manager of the Keyser High School football team. I visited practice a few times just trying to get a glimpse of the team as they prepared for the upcoming season. I was just so excited to be around the football program, to see the players, and to see the disciplined, organized approach that the coaching staff was taking with the team.

After seeing me at practice a few times, Coach Preaskorn and several other members of the coaching staff took the time and asked me if I wanted to help my sister with the duties and responsibilities of being the equipment manager. I was elated beyond my wildest expectations. Coach Preaskorn always had a way of making me feel special when most others took no notice.

As time passed, I grew closer to the coaching staff and to the football program as a whole. When all was said and done and the time came for me to graduate high school, I had been with the Keyser High School football team for six years. In that time, I watched as year after year, boys became men. Coach Preaskorn had a way of teaching young men responsibility, discipline, respect, self-sacrifice, character, trust and integrity.

One conversation that I had with Coach Preaskorn my senior year stands out for me. It was one of the most difficult conversations of my entire life. At the time, I needed a role model to help me make some very important choices. I will not disclose the details, but Coach Preaskorn gave me reassurance when I most needed it. If it were not for him, I do not know how I would have handled the situation. If it were not for having my peers on the team and the role models on the coaching staff, especially Coach Preaskorn, I would not be the person I am today.

Coach Preaskorn continued his coaching career at his alma mater beginning the year after I graduated. I have continued to support him throughout his entire career. Whenever I see him, regardless of the situation, he always takes the time to speak to me and treat me with respect. He has served his country in ways that many people could not possibly fathom. He has been a loving, faithful husband to his wife and a caring, devoted father to his children. He has mentored so many young men over his career and made them into men during the most important formative years of their lives.

Anyone who does not recognize these facts, clearly does not know him, has never taken the time or made any effort to understand him, and should be ashamed of themselves for rushing to judgment and assaulting his character. In my years of being involved in high school and collegiate athletics, I have never known a man with more dedication, discipline, courage, honor, devotion, respect, ethics, morals, and integrity than Coach Tom Preaskorn. He is a class act, a tremendous man, and I value his continued friendship.

Coach Preaskorn has always and will always have my trust, support, admiration, and respect. God bless Coach Tom Preaskorn and his family.

Sincerely,

Kevin B. Reeves

Keyser


 

Coach Preaskorn positive influence for writer’s sons

To whom it may concern:

I am writing this in regard to the controversy that is surrounding Tom Preaskorn and his family at this time. I first want to tell you that they are friends of mine but I am also a mother of two of Tom's former students and football players for Keyser High School.

I have never met a more honest man and just a great all around good guy. Tom is a fair man and would never do anything dishonest or unfair against anyone ... especially students. I have known this man for many years and respect him immensely. Not only is Tom a good teacher, friend, husband, father, Tom is also a soldier that has defended this country all the while his wife Diane kept their family together while Tom was away serving this country.

Right now Tom and his family are under attack with a smear campaign against him. I cannot imagine the audacity of some people. Right now is the time for the Allegany School Board to rally behind one of their teachers and coach.

Tom takes the time away from his own family year after year to help shape and mold these young men. The discipline that he provides these young men while in practice and on the field is not to be disputed. Every one of the young men Tom Preaskorn has had in his care are some of the finest I know, and they are endless. It is countless and most times thankless hours that you put your heart and soul into these young men. My sons are now 29 and 30 and if you ask them to this day who were the most influential people in their lives I am positive Tom Preaskorn would be on that list.

It is sad to see the parents of these young men being so hurtful to Tom and his family. He has young children that are being subjected to the ignorance of some of these parents and at school-related functions. It is hard to see people that you love, care about and respect being treated this way and being the subject of harassment and bullying. This is something, with all of the violence in this country, that the school board should help to crack down on. Hopefully the blessings of this season will wash over the community and heal a much needed situation for all involved.

Sincerely,

Regina Love

Keyser, W.Va


 

Former Allegany player seeks end to negative publicity

Dear whom it may concern:

I played football for Allegany from 2008-2010 and graduated in 2011. I want everyone to understand this. Coach Preaskorn is the most humble guy you would ever want to meet, and has a group of rotten apples that are jealous of him, his success and family.

Coach Preaskorn is a favorite at Allegany. All the football players have always loved him, and through the three years of football I played, he always supported me and had my back. Now it's my turn to have his back. I want to know what I can do to help support Coach and help end the negative publicity he has been getting.

David Rinehart

Cumberland