Erickson donation doubled

My all-time favorite saying is that there are two types of people in this world -those who are interested in the fleece and those who are interested in the flock.

Our community is blessed with many who fall into the latter group.

The latest example involves the drive to install new bleachers on the home side of the Erickson All-Sports Facility.

It all started with Parkersburg South principal Tom Eschbacher, who was losing his fight for life. Eschbacher made it clear that if he passed away, in lieu of flowers he preferred those who wanted to remember him to make donations to the Erickson bleacher fund.

During a memorial service conducted at South in his memory, those in attendance donated approximately $3,000.

Already, that $3,000 has doubled thanks to the Deitzler Foundation, the charitable fund established by Vienna residents Harry and Kathe Deitzler.

They recently informed Erickson board of directors president Rick Bush of their intention to match up to $20,000 in donations made in Eschbacher’s name.

Every community has those who can afford to share their wealth with their hometown, but not everyone who has acquired wealth is willing to do so.

It’s awesome that Eschbacher’s final gift was to the school he loved and thanks to the Deitzlers that gift likely will be greater than Eschbacher ever could have imagined.

Opening Day

This is a special day for many sports fans.

It’s the day high school football teams across West Virginia begin practicing, three days later than their counterparts in Ohio.

Actually, the young men who will be representing their schools have been preparing for the upcoming season since the end of last year’s campaign.

Football represents a major commitment, and not just of one’s time. The athletes who play it must be willing to sacrifice their body.

It takes more than ability to play, it also takes courage. It’s a violent, collision sport. One that exposes character more than any other.

One of the great pleasures of this job is to get to spend time with the coaches and the young men who represent their schools on Friday nights.

Our sports staff already is busy making school visits for the annual pigskin preview, perhaps the most popular project we tackle on an annual basis.

Other fall sports -soccer, cross country, volleyball and golf -also get under way today, with golf the first to conduct actual competitions.

It will be interesting to see if all the excitement created by the World Cup leads to increased interest in soccer.


On the verge of the final major golf tournament of the year, Tiger Woods once again is injured and likely won’t play.

No sport was as tied to one athlete as golf was to Tiger, yet it still is thriving even though he isn’t.

Contact Dave Poe at