Opinion

Sadness briefly engulfed me when I heard about the death of Mr. Kelsey Moffett, but that sadness passed when I thought about the extraordinary person that Coach Moffett was. I first met Mr. Moffett when I was 12 years old and he selected me to be on the seventh grade CYO basketball team for St. Kilian's. I was thrilled to be on the team. We had a very good basketball team that year and made the CYO playoffs. Times were different back then; not all of us got to play in all the games, parents did not stay around to monitor practices or make suggestions to the coaches as to whom should be playing or what plays to run, and we had fun even though we may not have played in the game. Why did we have so much fun, because Coach Moffett stressed that the game of basketball was about fundamentals and teamwork. We practiced the fundamentals of the game and learned how to dribble with both hands, make our foul shots, and not pout when something went wrong but, to learn from our mistakes and go forward.

Looking back on that 1970-71 seasons, I now realize that Coach Moffett probably emulated his coaching style and philosophy from John Wooden who at the time was the UCLA basketball coach. Mr. Moffett was my first coach, and I think the only one who never raised his voice at any of us. He realized that we were only playing a game and there were many more important things in life than a blown lay-up or a dropped pass. He taught that as long you understood the fundamentals and gave it your best, then things would be fine. Last summer we had a mini-reunion of our 1972 St. Kilian's class, and Mr. Moffett attended. How happy we all were to reminisce about those special times, the true Wonder years. Coach Moffett, please say hi to Leon Martin and Jim Tessitore, two other classy gentlemen who defined Farmingdale youth basketball and baseball in the 1960s and 1970s. We'll miss you, but will carry on the life lessons you taught us well. Peace.

Tony Schmitt


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