By SETH STASKEY
Times Leader Sports Editor
According to those who knew him really well, Derek Hoffman - the 1998 St. Clairsville graduate - had two passions. He loved teaching and coaching.
THE HOFFMAN Hustle Scholarship was presented to St. Clairsville seniors Claire Slavik and Riley Carlton at the school’s recent awards assembly. Presenting the awards are Hoffman Hustle Foundation board member Justin Green and Alicia Freeman.
Unfortunately, Hoffman's life was cut far too short when he died in an automobile accident shortly after his graduation from Bethany College just over 10 years ago.
Hoffman's love of education and athletics is living on, however.
His long-time friennd and classmate Justin Green has been doing his part to make sure Hoffman's passions are preserved and used to help Ohio Valley schools through a scholarship at their alma mater.
However, Green is now branching out the reach of the Hoffman Hustle Foundation.
"Basically, we wanted to build it big enough to be able to help area schools' athletic programs," Green said. "We don't want to limit who we can help."
The expansion started this year, actually. The Hoffman Hustle Foundation donated $2,000 to the Bellaire High School Athletic Department.
"This foundation is a way we can keep Derek's name and dreams alive," Green said. "To be able to help athletic departments at area schools is something he'd definitely be in favor of. Plus, the scholarship recognizing the teaching side."
The Hoffman Hustle Foundation doesn't have any strings attached to how the schools utilize the donation. It can be used for equipment or any thing it so chooses.
"We're going to allow any school to participate," Green said. "The schools just have to contact us and let us know they want to be included. This money won't go to individual kids, but into the entire athletic program and we don't care how it's dispersed."
While Green is looking to expand the help of the foundation, the scholarship at St. Clairsville High School will continue. This year's recipients of the award, which were for $1,000 each, were Riley Carlton and Claire Slavik.
"When we started it, it was set up for just one person, but we've been able to branch that out, too," Green said.
The primary fundraiser for the Hoffman Hustle Scholarship has been a golf scramble, which will be held this year on Friday, June 14 at Belmont Hills Country Club.
Green hopes to add a new or additional fundraising event next year, but he wasn't quite ready to fully release the details.
"We're not exactly sure where we're headed with that yet, but it's going to be a different event and it'll make it easier for the other schools to get involved that way."
Making up the Hoffman Hustle Foundation committee are Paul Foster, Ricky Hoffman, Amanda Yoho and Green.
Staskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org