Knoch vigil planned for slain W&J player McNerney
Preston Saxton hopes a candlelight vigil tonight in honor of former classmate Tim McNerney will help the Knoch community heal.
McNerney, 21, of Penn Township, died from head trauma after he was jumped by robbers on his way home from a Washington, Pa., tavern early on Oct. 4. Police are investigating his death; no arrests have been made.
A senior running back on the Washington & Jefferson College football team, McNerney holds the all-time rushing record at Knoch High School.
Saxton said he and several of his Knoch teammates plan to memorialize McNerney at 7:30 p.m. today at Knoch Knights Stadium.
“We're trying to bring the community together and have a few words for Tim,” said Saxton, who now lives in Cranberry and is a student at Robert Morris University.
“A lot of people are hurt by this,” said Saxton. “With everybody coming together, the moral of this is to cherish what you have now and take nothing for granted.”
Saxton said he wants people to remember the good times with McNerney and plans to share a humorous story about his friend.
“I think it also helps us to hear some funny stories about Timmy,” he said.
Saxton said T-shirts that resemble football jerseys with McNerney's name and his No. 5 will be sold for $10 to raise money for a more permanent memorial to McNerney, likely a scholarship fund in his name. Saxton said all money raised will be donated to McNerney's family, who will have the ultimate decision on how it's used.
Saxton said W&J students also provided the Knoch memorial organizers with about 300 rubber bracelets to sell for $3.
Karen Oosterhous, a spokeswoman for W&J College, said students there have organized several fundraisers and memorials in McNerney's name, including the sale of the rubber bracelets that include McNerney's name, “#RIP5” and a stop the violence message. And a Washington-area Applebee's restaurant is donating a portion of its proceeds to the cause, Oosterhous said.
Students, including McNerney's W&J teammates, have been showing their support by wearing commemorative T-shirts and red-and-black ribbons in the college's colors.
The students' sense of community has been the silver lining in McNerney's death, Oosterhous said.
“That has been one positive thing to come out of this tragedy,” she said.
Mike King, Knoch's head football coach, said his team is considering starting a “Tim McNerney Award” to be given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities that McNerney showed in his life: heart, desire and good sportsmanship.
King said the award would be given out at the end of each football season.
Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or email@example.com. Staff writer Paul Kogut contributed to this report.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Vandergrift must find $100K for roads
- Butler organization seeks answers for unexplained phenomena
- New Kensington police chief receives warm sendoff
- Allegheny Valley YMCA looks to members, community for financial help
- Sylvan Pool plans to remain open extra week
- ‘Banshee’ props, inventory up for sale
- Apollo fountain to return
- New Kensington police seek shooting suspect
- ATI continues to produce, ship products
- Emlenton woman killed in Jefferson Twp. crash