On Tuesday, April 10, Thomas Dale High School is dedicating its baseball field to the late Matt Gwaltney, who was killed in the Virginia Tech shooting on April 16, 2007.
“Matt wasn’t a guy who looked for accolades,” said Greg Gwaltney, Matt’s father. “I know he would be both proud and honored to see this happen.”
Gwaltney, a 2001 graduate was a pitcher for Thomas Dale under former head coach and health and physical education teacher Dale Clark and also a reporter for the “Knightly News,” the school’s newspaper.
“He was a very methodical player,” said Gwaltney. “He studied the game to improve his skills, and helped his teammates with advice whenever they needed it.”
One of Matt’s career highlights was when the hurler twirled a shutout against Prince George, and when he played basketball was the team’s motivational type player, who always helped get his teammates up in good and bad situations.
“Matt exemplified everything that is right with our youth these days,” said Thomas Dale Athletic Director Steve Davies. “With his dedication, accountability, integrity, responsibility and humor, he touched so many lives in the right way.”
It is certainly fitting that a former baseball player with a personality such as Matt’s will receive such an honor.
“We will never completely understand what happened on April 16, 2007, but this is Thomas Dale’s way to say his life will never be forgotten,” explained Davies.
To donate to the continued improvement of Thomas Dale’s facilities in Matt’s name, log on to the Chesterfield Public Education Foundation website at www.cpefound.org and click on the Matt Gwaltney tab to donate or call 804-379-1551.
Weather permitting, the electronic scoreboard and sign will be unveiled with a ceremony at 3:30 p.m. on April 10 2014, followed by a big game against Meadowbrook at 5 p.m. All baseball alumni are invited and encouraged to attend. For more information on the event, email Steve Davies at Steve_Davies@ccpsnet.net.