CLARENCE, N.Y. - A tournament that is an enduring tribute took place Saturday at Clarence High School, with the still strong legacy of a beloved wrestling and soccer coach.
High school wrestlers from around the area turned out for the sixth annual Jon Vesper Memorial Tournament. The event raises funds for the scholarships awarded to graduating seniors in the name of Jon Vesper, who passed away suddenly at age 40 from a heart attack in March 2007.
His wife, Jan Vesper-Diver, who was pregnant when he died, has worked with many of his friends and former wrestlers who still cherish his memory.
"The relationships that he sought, that he had with his kids, they looked up to him. He was a mentor to many of them. All of them actually. But he taught them life lessons," said Jan Vesper-Diver. "Some of them you know had parents who had died and he kind of took them under his wing. He loved helping the guys.
So far there have been six winners of the scholarship and they hope to award two more to seniors who wrestled or played soccer at the end of the school year with funds raised through this event.