Happy 4th of July!
An Independent Weekly Newspaper
Campbell’s Coach ‘K’ Retires on Top
by Marc Ayotte It’s not everyone who gets to
work a lifetime at something they love. It’s even less common to be fortunate enough to pursue ones passion, be financially compensated for it and be highly successful. And yet, an even rarer occurrence is to finally decide to ‘call it a day’ after many wonderful years and be able to retire from your profession at the pinnacle of your career. With two state championships being won in the last month of the school year, Campbell High School (CHS) Athletic Director Dan Kiestlinger was one such fortunate individual. Coach “K,” as he is affectionately referred to, has officially announced his retirement and is leaving CHS after 11 dedicated and productive years as teacher, coach and mentor to thousands of Cougar students and athletes. And although he is officially off the clock and can now start planning for some rest and relaxation in Florida this winter, as well as hiking with his oldest grandson this summer, the loyal AD can still be found in the Cougar Den. Kiestlinger is spending his last days on Campbell soil by preparing his successor and making esthetic changes involving the numerous championship banners that are prominently displayed high above courtside.
Born in Nashua, Coach “K” lived in Merrimack during his formative years, and attended high school at Bishop Bradley in Manchester (currently Trinity High School). While there, Kiestlinger was a member of the varsity basketball team that appeared in the state finals in three of those four years.
Hudson~Litchfield NewsHudson Relay for Life Volume 21 Number 49 July 1, 2011 16 Pages
by Len Lathrop In between rain drops, the American Cancer Society’s annual
Relay For Life was out to beat two things: the rain and cancer. The event, which started on Friday evening at Alvirne High School, was expected to raise $75,000. Survivors, caregivers, family, friends, and many supporters totaling over 500 people began walking in this 18-hour event at 6 p.m. Friday. One member from each team would be on the track throughout the night and into Saturday when it would be over. Tents began popping up as early as 2 p.m. Friday on the track’s infield, where each team called home for the 18-hour event. While the event is a fundraiser it is also a support mechanism for those involved to remember those who have been lost to the disease, celebrate the progress that has been made it curing the disease, and the number of survivors that there are today and to fight back to find a cure. As the sun sets over campsites and darkness falls, the night is brightened by the glow of illuminated bags called luminaria, each bearing the name of someone who has battled cancer. Some celebrate cancer survivors, while others help us honor and remember those gone too soon. All represent someone special
who has been profoundly affected by cancer and the family and friends who continue to fight back in their honor. Throughout the night, laps are dedicated to different themes as Looney Toons and Square Dancing. As morning came, members of the Hudson Fire Department prepared and served a breakfast of pancakes and bacon to those still circling the track.
Athletic Director Dan “Coach K”
Keistlinger is retiring after his impactful 11-year tenure at Campbell High School
He also had the distinction, in high school, of being the only four-year basketball player who also played trumpet in the school band for all four years. Upon graduating from Bishop Bradley, he attended Manhattan College in New York where he played basketball his freshman year. Kiestlinger graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree, after majoring in physical education and health. As the coach recalls, that particular year was very eventful. After graduating, he signed
a teaching contract with the Londonderry school system. Concerned with a possible conflict between being able to honor his contractual obligation and being drafted for the Vietnam War,
continued to page 10- Coach ‘K’ Youth group from St. Katherine’s Church Te Pink Panthers Team a long time relay team made up of Hudson town employees, families, and friends The Community Has Lost a Treasure
by Lynne Ober Many were saddened with the death of David
Alan Weaver, 56, of Hudson. Jeff Emanuelson said it best when he said, “The community has lost a treasure.” Weaver died on June 17 from complications from his year-long fight with cancer. Born on February 28, 1955, in Chester, PA,
he was an active member of the 4-H Club of Delaware County for five years. An Eagle Scout at the age of 16, David served as a camp counselor at Resica Falls Scout Reservation in Pennsylvania during his high school and college summers. He graduated from Penncrest High School in 1973 and went on to be an avid member of the Kutztown University (PA) Track and Field and Bowling teams before graduating in 1977 with a degree in both Elementary Education and Special Education. Kutztown is also where David met the true love of his life, his wife of 32 years, Patricia Anne (Thynge) Weaver of Hudson, formerly of Chaddsford, PA. Prior to graduating from college, Weaver was offered a job teaching at the Melmark Home for special needs children. Later, he returned to Penncrest High School as a special needs teacher. In 1997, he moved his family to New Hampshire. Although Weaver worked in a number of businesses, he never lost his love of kids, teaching kids, and baseball. “Dave touched the lives of many people in
the town of Hudson through the pursuits of his family, his work with Hudson Youth Baseball (as the President of the League), and the New England Catching Camp,” said Keith Bowen. “He loved to work with kids and dedicated himself to improving the athletic and life experiences of boys and girls of all ages through his coaching and mentorship; Dave lived life with a passion unlike any other. His smile and positive outlook were infectious. He was known by his family as a great husband, father, uncle, son, and brother. And by the community, Dave was known as a devoted family man of great faith who lived his life with a tremendous amount integrity and conviction.” “When Dave’s older son [Jason] was a sophomore at Alvirne High School and a member of the Hudson Post 48 American Legion Baseball Program, I remember Dave asking me if I knew of anyone who could work with his son on his catching skills so that he could improve and be the best he could be at the position,” recalled Bowen. “At the time, I told him that I didn’t know of anyone who worked primarily with catchers and that he would be hard-pressed to find anyone in the country who offered those types of services. A few weeks later, Dave and I were talking after a game and he said, ‘you were right—there isn’t anyone out there coaching catchers.’ He added that this is a real need and someone should be teaching these kids the right way. As time passed, I would overhear Dave talking to everyone and anyone he could about catchers and he was
Dave leading Catchers Clinic at Greeley Park for Hudson Youth Baseball and Softball several years ago.
really good at asking the right questions to get the answers he sought. Dave became a true student of the position and eventually through his hard work, vision, and dedication to improving the instruction of catchers.” As usual, Dave took action where he saw a need. In 1999 while living in Hudson, he founded the New England Catching Camp. At the time, he recognized that coaching and teaching for the catcher’s position was unavailable and he decided to make that instruction available to all. As a result of his efforts, he became extremely well known throughout the world as one of the premier authorities on the catcher’s position in the baseball and softball communities. “Dave’s zest for life and passion to make a difference in the lives of the people he touched helped to make the New England Catching Camps the premier place to go for catchers to improve their skills in the United States,” stated Bowen. The New England Catching Camp was one of the few year-round programs in the United States devoted exclusively to training catchers. Although Weaver coached athletes in a variety of scholastic sports for over 30 years, he loved coaching catchers and taught young catchers ranging from very young catchers to NCAA Div-1 starting catchers in both baseball and softball. Weaver’s summer camps drew catchers from all over the country and his training DVD, The Coaches Guide to Training Catchers, is one of most highly regarded training tools for coaches seeking information on how to teach skills needed to succeed at catching. Without a doubt, a passion of Weaver’s life
was to teach the catching position to anyone willing to play one of the game’s most challenging and, perhaps, least glamorous position. His contributions to the lives of many were unparalleled. Using humor instilled with a down- home manner, he reached all those with whom he interacted.
Many have memories that extend throughout the community. Weaver was a past president of Hudson Youth Baseball, where he was known by the moniker of Catching Coach, but in reality was the go-to man for just about anything. Scott Power, current Vice President of Hudson
Youth Baseball, said, “I knew Dave through Hudson Youth Baseball. I used to see him running catcher’s camps at Play Ball while I was working some camps there. But my first real interaction with him came a couple of years ago, when someone suggested I talk to him about running a coaching clinic for our rookie managers. We talked about baseball and catching for a while and of course he agreed to provide the clinic to our coaches and would be happy to offer it as a free service (he was always willing to give back). He has been running the league-wide catcher’s camp for players for some time now and it’s always a huge success.” Weaver was a presenter at the World Baseball and Softball Coaches Convention at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. “He was always smiling and absolutely loved
working with the kids,” said Brian McKinley. “The clinic was two hours, but he would have stayed all night if we let him. He will be missed.” Weaver was also a dedicated family man. “I had the honor and privilege of meeting Dave Weaver 15 years ago when he first moved his family to Hudson,” said Bowen. “At the time, I coached his son Kevin as a third grader in the Hudson Recreation Department’s fall soccer program.
Since that time, I really got to know Dave and his family pretty well. I coached his older son [Jason] for two years on the Hudson Post 48 baseball team, his son [Kevin] in the Fall Soccer Program for a year, on the Hudson Post 48 Baseball team for two years, and he was a student at Hudson Memorial School when I started working at the school. I also got to know his daughter [Emily] as a student at Hudson Memorial for three years and I have worked with his wife [Trish] at Hudson Memorial School, where she has been a substitute teacher for a better part of the last five years. They are a tremendous family and over the years became extremely involved in community of Hudson through youth sports.” In late spring of 2010, Weaver was diagnosed with rectal cancer. He endured surgery, with radiation and chemotherapy treatments following the operation, with his usual good humor. In the fall, he had extensive surgery to remove more cancerous tissue. But just before Christmas, he posted on Facebook that he was feeling better, that the biopsies came back showing no more cancer, and that he was looking forward to the coming baseball season. In typical Weaver fashion, he was thinking about others and in his post, he urged everyone to keep up with their medical check-ups and not to miss any needed tests. Friends and family kept him in their memories and in an effort to raise cancer awareness, his friends, many of whom had young athletes who participated in his New England Catching Camp programs, organized a “Catchers Against Cancer” benefit in March 2011. The goal was to raise money to help with medical bills as the company that Weaver had worked for closed its doors during his medical leave. The turnout at the event showed how much Weaver had meant to the community. By April, things were looking brighter and
Weaver and his son Jay were excited about the upcoming catcher’s camp. continued to page 5- David Alan Weaver
The Hudson~Litchfield News
and the Area News Group Offices are on vacation.
There will be no newspaper on July 8th.
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Hudson Fire Department feeds breakfast to all the particpants
Rylee Simmons walks with her dad Jon. 2-year-old Rylee received treatment Friday morning and participated on Friday afternoon
Have a Safe & Happy 4th of July!
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