Passing of a legend

The Freehold Regional High School District lost one of its legendary educators last week when Bernie Goldwater died in Florida at the age of 74.

Goldwater was a fixture in the district for several decades, first at Southern Freehold Regional High School (later renamed Howell High School) and then at Freehold Township High School.

He will forever be remembered as a baseball coach who prepared his teams to play hard and to play smart. He only demanded everything that his players had to give.

That the players responded so well and with so much dedication over so many years is a testament to the fact that Gold-water knew exactly what he was doing on the diamond and that he knew how to handle young men at a stage of their lives when going along with the program may not have been the uppermost thought in their minds.

He could be tough on his players and tough on umpires, but if he was, it was only because he was asking of them what he sought from himself – to play every game like it was Game 7 of the World Series. There were no “gimmes” in Goldwater’s world, and his teams played to win every game.

Like many other outstanding teachers, coaches, administrators and staff members who have made their mark over the years in the Freehold Regional High School District, Gold-water’s gift to the students in his charge was the passion he brought to his profession.

If the thousands of students he came into contact with over the years came away with half of the dedication and enthusiasm he showed for what he did, then they must be successful adults today.

We can only hope that some of the teachers who work in our local schools today do so with the same passion for achievement that Goldwater showed.

It would be very appropriate at some point in time for the Freehold Regional High School District to honor his name and deeds. He deserves no less.

People like Bernie Goldwater, we are sad to say, do not come along every day.