Where are you now? I live on MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Floriday, where I am a Logistics Manager of Joint Communications Support Element.
What was your favorite Grafton High School memory?
Coming out of the basketball locker room for warm-ups at the “Cathouse” in front of our home crowd hearing Sweet Georgia Brown is one of my fondest memories. Beating RW on our way to states in basketball my senior year, along with going to states my junior and senior years in golf were both memories I’ll always cherish.
Who was the high school coach or teacher that played an important role in your life? Why or what lesson did they teach you?
Coach DePiano was our JV coach my sophomore year; he always taught toughness. Any loose ball should be ours, rebounding was an art and sometimes a drop step elbow is ok. Many teachers developed who I am today as an individual, if I were to name one it would be the late Norman Adlington. He was not only a mentor in school but took the time to teach me to play golf. I will always remember him, his support and guidance he selflessly gave.
Outside of high school what is your proudest moment?
Being the father of two amazing kids Jonathan and Kaslynn who have made being dad easy along with having a beautiful granddaughter Isabelle is my proudest moment. Retiring from the Air Force serving this great nation for 20 years ranks slightly second behind my family.
What honors did you earn in high school or higher education?
Bachelor’s degree Cum Laude from Minot State University, Master’s Degree with honors from Grantham University, US Transportation command and Air Force Global Strike command senior civilian of the year awards.
What do you love to do in your leisure time?
Golf, lots of it; hey I live in Florida haha! Also, enjoy time with my granddaughter Izzy, along with singing and playing guitar.
What were your favorite movies and music during your teenage years?
Only having 3 channels in Oak Grove back in the day made movies special. I would have to say Back to the Future for a movie. I always enjoyed different genres of music; Aerosmith, Gun’s and Roses, Motley Crue, Kansas, Nazereth, Stryper, even Winger…ha!
Who were your idols growing up?
My parents were huge idols growing up, mom was a socialite and cared for everyone. My dad worked so many long hours helping out neighbors and friends but they both made every sporting event. Outside of my parents, Kevin Mchale in basketball and Greg Norman in golf.
Who was your best friend at GHS and do you still stay in touch with them?
Gene Estel and I hung out a lot in high school together. We still stay in contact, probably chat, text or call at least three times a month. Always managed to hang out a little bit when I came back home to visit. Last year he came down for an extended weekend, we will be best friends for life.
When was the last time you returned to GHS or a GHS sporting event?
I went to a basketball game about 4 years ago. While it was no longer in the old “Cathouse”, it was great to see the support of the local community and families for the players. Love my hometown, always will.
If you went back in time and could spend one hour with yourself at the age of 15, What advice would you give yourself?
Take the shot! Whether it be in a sporting term, a relationship opportunity, a life goal or a dream; always take the shot. As life continues on, every day its more prevalent life is short, without taking the shot, one will never know what they may achieve.
Tell us about your family.
My son Jonathan (24) is the manager of Footlockers House of Hoops in Sarasota FL, his fiancée Emily is in her final year for her RN at Keiser University, they blessed me with Miss Izzy (granddaughter) 2 years ago. My daughter Kaslynn (21) is an honor society junior at Cleveland State University for Sociology; her fiancée Dylan is in his Masters of Psychology at Cleveland State University.
I love quotes. What is your favorite quote?
“What we do now echoes in eternity” Marcus Aurelius
What values did you take away from your time at GHS and how have they helped you in life?
Growing up in a small town taught me how important family and friends are in life. How the strength of community, no matter how large or how small can make change. Always be kind, try and smile no matter how hard life may be and most importantly; there is always someone there for you! No person has ever succeeded without someone to assist, support and care for! I am honored to call myself a West Virginian and always proud to say I am from Grafton!