By JOHN ANDERSON
An athlete, a scholar, journalist, and lover of music passed away on Monday afternoon after a one-car accident in Scio.
Amity-based state Police said Edward D. Linnecke Jr., 30 of Scio, was deceased at the scene of the accident on County Road 9 in Scio when his 2013 Chrysler went off the road, struck a group of trees and overturned at 2:45 p.m. An autopsy will be performed at Olean General Hospital and troopers said the investigation is continuing.
On Nov. 3, his father, Edward D. Linnecke, 69, of Riverside Dive, passed away unexpectedly at home after a brief illness.
Ed Jr. is survived by his mother and his sister and family.
His friends are remembering him today with tributes. A Genesee Valley graduate, Ed was a key part of championship GV teams as an MVP and an all-tournament selection.
Raymie Auman, the current Wellsville varsity basketball coach, played at Genesee Valley and was an assistant to Don Baker coaching Ed Jr. during the championship run.
“I spent a lot of time with Ed. He was just steady, he was really dedicated to basketball. He was a very intense kid. When we were all-in on a game plan or philosophy, he was all-in,” Auman said. “He was a student of the game, had a passion on the court and wanted to learn the game, learn the X’s and O’s and learn the ‘chess game’ part of the game which a lot of kids don’t like to do on the high school level.”
After high school Ed Jr. was studying to be a lawyer but also developed a love of writing, photography and music. He was published on multiple platforms on an array of topics.
He was a graduate of Houghton College and William & Mary in Virginia and interned in several law offices. In 2017, he was featured in an Olean Times Herald story for his work with the American Civil Liberties Union in Portland. He was counseling people on the liberties granted to them by the Constitution.
“When I was in my second year at William & Mary, I decided I wanted to pursue social justice, particularly criminal justice reform,” he said in the article. “Fighting the drug war and stopping school-to-jail pipeline.”
Auman said he was someone who wanted to debate even back in high school.
“He was so fun to talk to and debate with,” Auman recalled. “We constantly debated about LeBron James and Michael Jordan. I had to constantly remind him Jordan was the greatest of all time.”
When Kevin Dewey of Angelica passed away recently, Brian Fanton posted some of Dewey’s game notes from the 2008-2009 Genesee Valley season. One detailed Linnecke inbounding the ball against Portville with seconds left, rushing to a spot on the court, getting the ball back and hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer to win the game.
During the season, there were many games he didn’t score in the top five of the team, but when it came to the finals, there he was with the top honors.
“As a coach, Ed did every single thing we asked him to do. He was extremely coachable. You tell him to do something and it would take once and he would figure it out,” Auman said. “As a teammate, he only wanted to win. He didn’t care if he scored a single point. And ultimately, he was successful at that. Our sectional win was many players stepping up and Ed’s unselfish leadership really helped that.”