By JOHN ANDERSON
Dylan Pesock a 2018 graduate of Oswayo Valley passed away Tuesday from injuries sustained in a car accident on Monday in Chautauqua County.
The news of the death has rocked Shinglehouse, Pa. and Bolivar, where Pesock, 21, grew up and after college, was making a difference with youth in the communities.
Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office deputies said Pesock was driving on Interstate 86 in North Harmony when his vehicle struck a parked tractor trailer on the interstate around 2:30 a.m.
Pesock was taken by helicopter to Hamot Hospital in Erie, Pa., and passed away on Tuesday. Pesock was alone in his vehicle and the driver of the tractor trailer was not injured.
Pesock, who attended Bolivar-Richburg in his early years, graduated from Oswayo Valley and then Mercyhurst University. A standout wrestler since his youth days, Pesock wrestled in college in the NJCAA National Tournament for Mercyhurst. He was a two-time national qualifier.
After graduation, he kept wrestling (he wrested in an open tournament in Jamestown) but wanted to give back, so he started working with youth wrestlers and high school wrestlers around the area in Bolivar.
“He was always smiling and so full of life,” said Shane Sibble, who took photos of Dylan last week racing with kids after a wrestling practice. “If you were ever down, he would lift you up. He didn’t have to come back and work with these kids, but he did. And he was friends with everybody. He wasn’t in a click … he hung out with everyone. It’s why you see so many stories and tributes about him online today.”
His mother said there is life from his death as his organs have been donated.
“I want everyone to know that we made a decision that we felt Dylan would have wanted. We donated his organs so he could give a family of a loved one of their own a chance to live and a piece of him will live on in someone else,” Dylan’s mother, Sonya Pesock posted Tuesday. ” We love you everyone that has had an impact on Dylan. I know he loved everyone he ever came in contact with.”
Family and friends have posted fun photos and videos of Dylan. On Monday as he was fighting for his life, high school students brought signs to sporting events praying for his health. The Bolivar-Richburg wrestling team is wearing new shirts in his memory as they go after another sectional championship.
“We just want to thank everyone who has reached out to us and posted pictures with the out pouting love,” Sonya Pesock said. “It means a lot to us and it really helps us get through this. We have so much to do to prepare us of the unimaginable.”
There were hundreds of well-wishes online. Here is one from Gary McDowell and a message from his college:
Gary McDowell, who has been a champion for the youth and varsity wrestling programs at Bolivar-Richburg, wrote a beatuful tribute to Dylan and his family:
“Dylan, thank you for everything you have done for Junior, Presley and all of our other wrestlers. You were a great mentor to him and he really looked up to you. I enjoyed watching the two of you go at it in the room and encouraging him to keep going. When he was tired you would tell him his opponents aren’t tired and they are working harder. You would tell him if he wants to be the best he needs to keep pushing and not giving up. He needed to go another round another period. I enjoyed watching you two review his matches focus on correcting and working on technique positioning helping him every way you could mentally and physically. All the sprints all the stance and motion all the hand fighting all the positioning drills and then of course at the end of the night the conversations that you would have with him and all the other wrestlers sitting around the mat in a circle and just chatting. Of course we can’t forget the last night of practice you guys were all pushing one another so hard preparing for this weekend and I said come on Dylan you have a tournament this weekend you got one more round. That last round quickly ended with you over the garbage can. And of course can’t forget about Presley, rolling with you on the mat trying to outdo Junior. You letting him take you down and him bragging to Junior that he got you. And then Junior would just push himself even harder. Dylan you are a huge part of this family this wrestling room this community you are truly going to be missed but will not be forgotten. Keep working on that stance and motion until we meet again. Thank you Shane Pesock, Sonya and family for Dylan. Thank you Mary and White Imprints for making the gear for these kids to honor their friend, their family, their teammate, their loved one. I truly encourage all wrestlers to give back to their youth programs to give back to their varsity programs you never know what impact you will have or how you will change someone’s life it’s an amazing journey. You won’t regret it, and you may never know how you change somebody.”
The Mercyhurst North East Saints Wrestling Team posted:
“Heaven has gained another Saint Warrior. The Saints wrestling family is saddened to hear of the passing of Dylan Pesock. Dylan, a 2x National Qualifier for the Saints. I am sure he is up there getting in a couple live goes with the other Saints who have left us way too soon. rip DP.”