Remembering Fred Edgington, one of Manchester’s finest

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Arrow right #1 Icon Created with Sketch. By Mark Carpenter-Jackie Robinson once said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” If anyone can say they were important because they had an impact on so many other lives, it is the late Fred Edgington. “Coach” Edgington passed away on June 7 at the age of 84, 84 of the most impactful years a man could spend on this earth. The list of things that Fred was involved with is a long one, beginning with his 35 years in education with the Manchester School District as a teacher. coach, and driving instructor, his 30 years as owner of Snappy Tomato Pizza in West Union, and his undying love for the Lord witnessed by many when they visited “Fred’s Song Fest.”If you ever met Fred Edgington, you certainly wouldn’t forget the meeting and he likely wouldn’t forget you either. He was definitely a “man of the people” and the number of people that he helped and touched in life in so many different ways is innumerable. The plaudits for an exceptional man could fill these pages, but perhaps it is best to just let some of the people who Fred impacted say it in their own words. The Defender reached out to the community for their remembrances of Mr. Edgington and what follows are the responses that were received, both humorous and touching, and seeming a lot about time spent in a Driver’s Ed car.Sarene Bellamy- “I took Drivers Ed with Fred in 1993. He used to take us driving and we would stop at every church bean supper he could find. And you learned not to tell him you hated bridges because you sent the rest of the day driving every bridge in Portsmouth. We were related through my grandmother and he always called me Hazel, that was also his mother’s name. We had a lot of fun driving the roads of Adams and Scioto County.”Walter Gray- “Fred was a teacher, coach, mentor and personal friend of mine. My freshman year in high school I was cut from the JV basketball team. On a personal note, this was very devastating and probably one of the worst nightmares of my life. It started a time in my young life where I headed down a not so favorable road to probable trouble. I became involved with a group of older teenagers that was not an intelligent move on my part. I began drinking alcohol fairly heavy and was involved in troublesome activities.Needless to say, this is where Fred Edgington became involved with my life. Fred saw some talent in the boys that didn’t participate at the freshman level and proceeded to start a freshman basketball team. He asked me to play on this team. We played in a couple tournaments, with Fred coaching. This simple gesture turned my life around. He told me to try out next year and I would make the team. Fred was the head coach at Manchester at the time and volunteered his time and effort to include some potential kids for the future. I continued to play basketball and baseball the remainder of my high school career. This is an example of what Fred Edgington did for so many young people in the Manchester area. He bought shoes for kids and who knows what else. He would give you the shirt off of his back.To add to his legacy, I believe that freshman basketball team Fred started in 1966 was the first freshman team in Adams County. Also, Fred started a Pee Wee basketball tournament, in Manchester, in the early seventies. I believe, also, this was the first Pee Wee tournament in Adams County. I have no way of verifying these events but I believe them to be true.To finalize, in 1996, my family purchased Safeway Driving School from Fred. We provided driver education to young adults for the next 22 years and at that time, I retired and shut the business down. So Fred’s Driver’s Ed business provided an essential service to the Adams and Brown County areas for numerous decades. Plus, gave me employment for 22 years.So, as you can see, Fred had a major impact in my life. I personally owe a lot to this man and will always feel indebted to him. RIP, Fred, I know you are in a better place where there is no more pain and your vision is a perfect 20/20.Matt Young- “During driver education, Fred and I approached one of the four way stops on the courthouse square. I stopped.He said, “Son, put it in park.” I had no idea. He then instructed me to open my driver door and he opened his. He then said, “Since you stopped on the crosswalk, I’m allowing the pedestrians to pass through.” I never stopped on a crosswalk again.”Amber Irwin- “Fred was my driving instructor in 1996. On the day I was supposed to drive with him, he came and picked me up at my house. After 15 minutes of driving, he looked over at me and said, ‘Young lady, you’ve been driving for awhile haven’t you?’ I was scared to death I was in trouble. I said, ‘Yes sir, since I was 12.’ He looked at me and smiled and said, ‘I thought so.’ No getting anything over on Mr. Fred Edgington.The second day he came to get me to drive, he brought a newspaper. He read it while I was driving. I accidentally went a little too fast around the sharp curve on 247 heading into Seaman. He kept reading his paper, maintaining his cool. I thought I got by with it, but a few seconds later, he said, ‘Hey young lady, you went a little too fast around that curve didn’t you?’ I said, ‘Yes sir.’ He said, ‘We won’t do that again, will we?’ I said, ‘No sir.’ Again, no getting anything over on Fred. He will be missed.Tracy Grooms- “I had Fred is a teacher and also as a Driver’s Ed instructor he would tell us in class many times if you are ever in trouble or in a position where you need money fast, I keep $40 in a cookie jar in the second cabinet on the top shelf in my kitchen. The back door is always unlocked if you feel you will be able to repay it, just leave a note with your name. If you can’t I will understand. He was such a giving person”Rob Meade- “Coach (Dave) Young used to tell a story about Coach Fred Edgington. He says that Fred threw a chair before Bobby Knight ever thought about it. It happened in a game I believe at Manchester. The referee told Fred to go get the chair and for every step that it took him to get off of the court it was gonna cost him a technical foul. Coach Edgington went out onto the floor, unfolded the chair, sat down, and called his starting five out onto the floor and had them carry him off so he didn’t take any steps. Word is the referee gave Coach Edgington a couple of technical fouls anyway.”Heather White- “Fred was my Driver’s Ed teacher… A memory of that experience I will never will forget. One evening after school he took the driver education class out to demonstrate parallel parking… of course he chose me to be the one to show the whole class. I got behind the wheel and was very nervous because I’d never done it before. He told me to pull the car up through the cones and I proceeded to do so…he yelled, ‘Give it some gas!’ I was going as slow as a turtle. I gave it the gas and I hit him because he was in front on the car walking me through the cones! Everyone laughed and he looked around at me and laughed at me also. I was done! He said, ‘Nope you’re doing this again!’ So he had me back out of the cones and we started again and again I was going slow, again with him walking in front of the car walking me through. He said, ‘Give that damn car some gas!’ I hit him again! This time he fell over the hood of the car and I slammed the brakes.He said, ‘Are you trying to kill me?’ Everyone laughed and I felt like crying. Fred just jumped up off the hood and said, ‘You’re not finished.’ He was laughing along with all of my classmates and I finished and he said, ‘Good job!’ I thought he for sure would fail me but I passed my drivers education with flying colors. He was a great guy. Prayers for his family and friends.Glenda Perry Abbitt- “Mr. Edgington was my Math and Driver’s Ed teacher but I’ll remember him mostly for his love of God. I loved that man.”Tiffany Ricketts- “My favorite memory of Fred Edgington was at a Manchester volleyball game in 2013, the sound system wasn’t working for the National Anthem, so Fred just started singing it and the whole crowd joined him. It was truly amazing!Natalie Frasher Murphy- “He taught drivers education I was a student of his. He would pick us all up early Saturday morning and he would have us drive him all over. He would pay his bills having us go to the drive-thru at a bank or getting a drink and a sandwich at the drive-thru. I think of him every time I come off the old bridge in Maysville and the yield sign. Fred once had to use his brakes when I was driving and didn’t yield. It came time for me to take my test and Fred met me at the testing location and I used the car he had trained me in. Fred was a bigger guy so when he got out of the car he put the steering wheel up. I was so nervous that I jumped in and buckled up, but never moved the wheel. I took my whole test driving with the steering wheel raised up. The test instructor was impressed that I passed with the wheel up. Fred got a good laugh and I’m sure I become the reason for telling people to check the wheel placement and review the yield sign policy at the bridge.”Nicole Grooms- “My Mom worked at Snappy Tomato Pizza when I was in elementary and junior high. I would walk to the store after school and Fred would take me on deliveries with him. He owned the place but he always worked. He would let me ride along and tell me stories of basketball and family. What a great man!Patrice Yezzi England- “My best memory of Fred (I have lots of memories between Driver’s ed and PE class) is the night my old Pinto wouldn’t start after a dance and he made me drive his new car home. I told I didn’t want to and what happened if I wrecked it? His reply? ‘Well, if you do then I wasn’t a very good Driver’s Ed teacher, now was I?’ Then he got mad when I brought it back with a full tank of gas.My sophomore year he was my PE teacher and there was a football game on picture day. Fred made us go over the hill and help get the field ready for the game that night. Did I mention the fact that it was sooooo hot that day and we had PE before we got our pictures taken? We were all sweaty messes in the yearbook that year! We girls were so mad at Fred! He was a good man and teacher and will be sorely missed.James Sandlin- “All these stories of Fred got me thinking. One day in the spring of my senior year, it was a very warm day. The windows on the third floor were open hoping to catch a breeze. Fred was teaching. Suddenly as he looked out the window and began yelling, ‘Oh no you don’t, you’ve kept us awake for the last three nights, you’re not gonna sleep now’ and out the door he went. After a few seconds most of us got up and went to the windows to see what was going on. It was his dog who was trying to sleep.So while he was gone, students did what students do. We played ‘Keep Away’ with Richard Cooper’s book. We tossed it about as he tried to intercept it. Until finally someone tossed it and out the window it went, coming to rest right in front of Fred on the sidewalk leading into the school. Fred was on his way back to class. We collectively said ‘Oh Hell’ ( or maybe something worse). We saw Fred pick up the book, look inside it, and then make his way to our room. He gets there, tosses the book to Cooper and says ‘Here you go Cooper’ and said ‘Okay, where did we leave off?’ Not a word about it. In our minds then, that was cool.My contact with Fred was more my senior year than any other. I ran Cross Country, Track and played baseball for Fred. He worked tirelessly for every student and athlete under his charge. If he didn’t coach you and you played another sport, he was interested in how you did. He encouraged students and athletes openly and often. He called me ‘Sandman’ and I called him ‘Coach.’ Every kid does not have a parent or parents who come and watch them play, having Fred as a coach was like having a parent there. He worked so hard on the track making sure it was ready. I was running in the County Track Meet in 1972, the mile run. Me and two other guys were approaching the last turn packed together. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Fred running to a position where he knew I could see him. He yelled ‘Kick Sandman, kick!’ That gave me a jolt of energy. I kicked. I finished second by about 1/10 of a second. I nearly won it because he believed in me and encouraged me.At our Athletic Banquet my senior year as he described my play in baseball, he said I was Manchester’s own Pete Rose. I loved that compliment. That in a nutshell is Fred Edgington for me. Guys like him impact kids in a very good way to which I’ve never forgotten. There is not a more honorable profession than teaching and Fred was one of the best.Gary McClellan- “Lots of people influence people. Fred Edgington at Manchester was one of those people. He coached about everything at Manchester but more importantly his wife Carol has put up with him all this time. Fred’s always busy taking care of other people and there are so many stories to tell. No one says anything derogatory about his guy, he’s been an influence just with his energy and positive attitude. He was an influence to me and to a lot of people. Thanks Fred.”Donnie Edgington (Fred’s son)- “Dad was always a big fan of Dave Tomlin. When he coached baseball at Manchester, he would have Dave come down and pitch batting practice. When Dave played for the Padres and later the Reds, Dad would always want to go down to Riverfront Stadium for those games.When they began the football program at Manchester, Dad was the first head coach and admittedly had no idea what he was doing, having never played football before. But while Mom was at Ohio University finishing up some classes, Dad made connections with the OU football coach and basically took private lessons to learn the game.Dad was also responsible for getting the track built at MHS, the one down over the hill behind the old school.”On a personal note, this writer also has many memories of Fred Edgington. My father once owned a grocery store in Ripley and Fred’s father was one of the grocery salesmen who often stopped in. Then later my Dad coached Pee Wee basketball and we were part of those Pee-Wee tournaments that were played in Manchester, In fact, my very last sixth grade game was played in the old Manchester gym, my Dad coaching one team and I think Fred coached the other. Anyway, I scored 29 points that night so I’m guessing Fred’s team was not a defensive powerhouse.In recent years, I seemed to run into Fred at a lot of MHS volleyball games where his voice could always be heard over the rest of the crowd, cheering on his girls even though he could barely see what was happening. And he always asked me how my parents were doing.But that is what Fred will be remembered for- his caring for other people. There is an emptiness in Manchester now, one that may never be filled. Fred and Carol Edgington were also known for their love of the Lord, exhibited here, hands held and raised to the skies. (Provided photo Pictured above, Fred and Carol Edgington, married over 60 years. Fred, a longtime Manchester educator, passed away recently at the age of 84. (Provided photo) Remembering Fred Edgington, one of Manchester’s finestLongtime MHS teacher and coach leaves behind a legacy of love and caringJune 17, 2020Mark CarpenterNews, Top Stories0 Top Searches Top Searches IndiansAdams CountySchool HomeNewsRemembering Fred Edgington, one of Manchester’s finest last_img read more

Watch: Driver meeting video for Charlotte road course

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