Support for Coach Dotterer pours in from Christian Brothers Academy and the North Side
Fri, 25 Jan 2013 00:05:46 GMT —
Support and prayers for Coach Tom Dotterer, the Christian Brothers Academy Baseball Coach who was shot in an armed robbery at his store Wednesday night continues to pour in.
It comes not only from Christian Brothers Academy, but from the community Dotterer has touched.
Michael Schoeneck was on the CBA baseball team more than ten years ago, but he still goes back to his Alma Mater every season to watch at least one game, and visit with his favorite coach.
"It's funny to see how many generations he really hit. I played in [2001 and 2002], I know guys who played in the late 80's, 90's, even through today, and he's never changed," says Schoeneck, who was a utility player for CBA. "He's still the kind of coach that everyone loves and loves playing for."
Schoeneck says he remembers Coach Dotterer as philosophical, and and as a tough guy. But when Shoeneck's father passed away, his old coach was the first to show support, giving his Shoeneck a hug after the funeral.
Since word spread of the robbery, Shoeneck and his old teammates took to social media.
"Everyone is kind of talking with each other about keeping him in your thoughts and prayers," he says. "We've kind of adopted the saying, 'Stay Strong Coach.'
When he heard what happened Wednesday night, Schoeneck was surprised.
"Usually he was the one who kind of , fends them off. But when you dive into the severity of that, it kind of hits home. You can tell that it hit every player he's ever had," he says.
Thursday morning, faculty and students at CBA joined in a prayer for their beloved coach.
Athletic Director Buddy Wleklinski says he's been taking calls from all across the country, from former players and alumni, all asking how they can help.
"I've received calls from other people in the athletic community, the Syracuse community at large, other people that he touched," he says. Wleklinski knows that support extends further than CBA. "We're hoping he understands and his family understands how much Tommy is loved by a lot of people."
Longtime family friend, Joe Nicoletti, and former Syracuse Common Councilor says the Coach was a legend, not only at CBA, but on the north side. Their history goes back generations, as both of their families grew up on the north side.
"He's the salt of the earth. He's what made this community a great community; He's a tremendous guy," says Nicoletti. "He has reached out to this community and he's been a stabilizing influence. He's one of the people you never read about in the headlines, he doesn't want to stand around and take accolades, but he's the kind of guy that you know could always give you good advice and he's always concerned about the kids of this community."
When Nicoletti was grocery shopping Thursday morning, he says it seemed all anyone would talk about was the coach's condition.
"The one gentleman said to me, 'We've got to pray for the coach'" Nicoletti says. "And I think we all are."
Another friend, Charlotte Cottrell, wrote a personal message on the sign she posted in the front window of Dotterer's store.
"Tom didn't deserve this," the sign reads, and asks for help catching whoever shot him during a robbery Wednesday night.
She also hopes Dotterer will see it, and know how much support he has on the north side.
Joe and his father used to buy lottery tickets from the North Salina Street store. Joe remembers the conversations being even more rewarding than the numbers.
"The place was always crowded, it was just people that would come in there. They'd buy a lottery ticket, or they'd be hanging around," Nicoletti recalls. "We would talk about everything from religion and politics, to the community, and his concern for the community."
"Every body that I've talked to is looking forward to him getting back on his feet and getting back out there," Nicoletti says, whether that's back to the baseball field, or back to his store.
"If there is anyone who can persevere through this, it's Coach," says Michael Schoeneck.
Everyone is rooting for the coach who spent so many seasons cheering for everyone.