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Dave Young, longtime supporter and ‘fixture’ of Sparrows Point athletics, dies

Dave Luther Young missed only three wrestling matches at Sparrows Point since 1985.
Dave Luther Young missed only three wrestling matches at Sparrows Point since 1985.

Dave Luther Young was affectionately known as the “Superfan” at Sparrows Point High School.

Mr. Young graduated from the southeastern Baltimore County school in 1969 and his two sons, Kevin and Mike, were both three-sport standouts there in the late 1980s and 1990s. Even long after his sons had graduated, he remained a loyal supporter of the school’s athletic program with wrestling topping the list.

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On Jan. 28, Mr. Young was surrounded by loved ones when he died from complications of COVID-19 at University of Maryland Medical Center. The Dundalk resident was 70.

“If anybody asked me, ‘Who’s Dave Young?’ I’d say ‘Front row at a wrestling match, royal blue [Sparrows Point] jacket, long gray, silver hair,’” Sparrows Point athletic director Paul Latanishen said. “‘Oh, yeah, right there by the scorer’s table?’ ‘Yup that’s Dave.’

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“The number of times he said, ‘Hey, if you need help,’ or ‘If there’s anything I can do’ … He cared. He cared about the quality of our programs, but was never critical. It’s a big loss.”

Born on Jan. 9, 1951, and raised in North Point Village, Mr. Young was the son of Lou Young, an electrician, and his wife, Roberta, a homemaker.

After graduating from high school, Mr. Young followed his father’s footsteps working as an electrician and married his childhood friend, Carol Siegert, on June 6, 1970. Despite getting divorced in the early 2000s, the two remained close.

During his sons’ high school playing careers at Sparrows Point — both participated in baseball, football and wrestling — Mr. Young rarely missed an event. On the wrestling team, Kevin became the program’s all-time wins leader before graduating in 1988, and Mike, a 1997 graduate, broke the mark while winning two state titles.

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Mike, who became a third-generation electrician and started a business with his father last year, said his father had missed only three wrestling matches at Sparrows Point since 1985. Mr. Young also was active in the area’s youth wrestling programs.

“He was my biggest cheerleader and worst critic — first one to yell at me and first one to praise me after he yelled at me,” Mike Young said. “As far as the community, I knew he was always around and donated and did a lot of fundraising for everything possible. He just wanted to do everything for the kids. I think for the next 10 to 15 years, somebody will always have a story about my dad being there watching them since they were 6, 7 years old through high school.”

Mr. Young’s presence was appreciated by Sparrows Point wrestling coach Mike Whisner, who took over the program in 2003. In addition to his regular attendance at matches and fundraising work, Mr. Young provided positive feedback and enjoyed team functions. When the team traveled to the state tournament every year, a hotel room would always be reserved for him. When a Pointer wrestler won his 100th match, the program would recognize the milestone with a plaque, and Mr. Young bought the standout a commemorative T-shirt to go with it.

“He was a fixture — that’s the word that comes to mind,” Mr. Whisner said. “The mat, the referee, the wrestlers and Dave Young are always there. He was a huge supporter of all the sports teams, but wrestling was his first love.”

In addition to his sons, Mike of Edgemere and Kevin and his wife, Yvonne Young of Dundalk, Mr. Young is survived by a brother, Jim Young of Dundalk; a sister, Kathy Gaither of Crisfield; 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Family will receive visitors at the Connelly Funeral Home of Dundalk, 7110 Sollers Point Road, on Feb. 5 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, masks and social distancing are required.

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