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Scholarship will keep TCHS Alum’s passion alive

By Staff | May 6, 2009

By JONAY CORLEY

For many people in Tyler County, the passing of Mike Dotson on April 23, 2007 was a reminder of how short life can be.

A 1971 graduate of Tyler County High School, Dotson attended West Virginia State with the help of academic and athletic scholarships. While there, he worked with the football team as a trainer and his love for sports was strengthened.

Dotson returned to Tyler County in 1973 and shortly thereafter he took a job with Consol Energy.

While balancing his time and love of family and work, Dotson spent several years giving his free time to the students, first at his alma mater and then at Tyler Consolidated High School, as a medical trainer during football season and as a coach for softball teams in the summer. He also spent numerous hours working for the school, video taping games and anything else the high school needed him to do.

With an understanding of Dotson’s love of sports, a group of friends recently established a $500 scholarship in his honor.

“Mike was like my brother,” lamented Dale Koontz, a life-long friend of Dotson. “So Larry (Kimble) and I got together and decided to honor him because his life was all about the kids. We wanted to keep his passion alive and the scholarship is the best way to do this, if only in name.”

The funds will be awarded to a deserving senior from Tyler Consolidated wishing to further his or her education in Athletic Training, Coaching, Sports Medicine, Physical Education or a related field. Applications will be available in the guidance office.

The criteria of eligibility requires that applicants show proof of their intention in an aforementioned field, a reference from a teacher or school administrator and a short essay.

A board comprised of three of Dotson’s family members and four unrelated people will review the applications.

The group is also seeking donations to build the scholarship find to a self-sustaining level. Anyone wishing to give to the fund may do so by sending a check to: The Community Foundation, P.O. Box 670, Wheeling, WV 26003. Remember to note in the memo that it is for the Mike Dotson Fund.

Those contributing to the account will receive confirmation of their donation as well as documentation for a tax deduction.