Recently, I attended the funeral of a man who was both coach and teacher, in addition to being father to two very good friends of mine. I said then that his most profound contribution to this world was that he was a good man who raised better men. I was referring to his children, but just as easily could have been speaking to the hundreds, if not thousands, of young men he mentored on and off the field. As with he, I now stand to say the same of Steve Turchetta.
In a day where hyperbole is common and grandiose statements are made with alarming ease, there is something to be said about the consistent and steady and reliable love that a good man provides to those around him. Steve Turchetta is indeed a good man.
To be candid, I do not pretend to be objective nor is it my objective to provide testimony detached from emotion. I stand with this man and all that he stands for because this man stood with me throughout the most difficult period of my life.
It is often said a man's character is most exposed and subsequently shown when adversity visits upon him. And, I believe that to be true.
However, I also believe I know what type of character that Steve Turchetta possesses by how he reacted when adversity visited upon me.
It sounds rather cliche perhaps corny to the cynical but I remember like it was yesterday when Coach Turchetta pulled me aside during my sophomore year at Lock Haven High School and inquired as to why I was obviously upset and "a little off," as I believe he phrased it. Chet, as we all affectionately called him, brought me into his office and provided the proverbial shoulder to lean (or, to anyone who knows me) cry on. And, cry I did. In fact, I believe the first 10 minutes of our meeting was simply him listening to me bawl, saying little and judging even less.
When the tears finally stopped, Chet was ready to listen. For the better part of an hour, he and I, coach and player, mentor and student, attempted to make sense out of a situation that to this day is non-sensical. My issues were not resolved, but my resolve to face my issues with strength and determination was restored.
I do not pretend to know all of the facts surrounding Jerry Sandusky nor the possibility of how his terrible reign of terror may or may not have been prevented by different actions from different people at Central Mountain High School.
My intention is not to preclude any current or subsequent investigation into those actions or into those people responsible for caring for the children of our community. However, there are a few things that I do know.
Steve Turchetta is a man of integrity and honor.
Steve Turchetta was there for me in my greatest time of need.
And, yes, without equivocation or any doubt, Steve Turchetta is a good man.