David Caplin made a proverbial splash during his time on this good earth. The Huntington High School Class of 1974 member garnered success in business and later seized on an opportunity to coach cross country and track and field. He passed away after a 13 year battle with cancer, but always remembered his alma mater.
A nine-time letter winner at Robert L. Simpson Junior High School and Huntington High School, Mr. Caplin was a National Honor Society member and Regents scholarship recipient as a senior. He went on to graduate from SUNY Binghamton.
Mr. Caplin passed away at home surrounded by his family and friends in September 2014. A group of his Huntington classmates presented two memorial scholarships in his honor at the 49th annual Blue Devil senior athletic awards banquet in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium earlier this month.
Huntington track stars Alexis Pastorelli and Shane McGuire are the recipients of the second David Caplin Memorial Scholarships for Leadership and Mentorship in Sports. Class of 1974 members Lisa Larsen Hill and Tim Seymour were on hand for the presentation of the $500 awards, which was made before a crowd about 300.
Mr. Caplin once described himself as an “intellectual athlete.” He loved to run, but when advancing illness prevented him from doing so, the Huntington alum found solace in coaching cross country and track in Hudson, Ohio, passing along his wisdom and experience to receptive teenagers.
Scholarship organizers established the following criteria for the award:
• While recipients do not need to be at the top of their class, they should have a grade point average of 3.0 or above and be grounded and thoughtful, on and off the playing field.
• The scholarship committee prefers to honor students who have excelled in cross country and track and field running events.
• Dedication to the sport of running as evidenced by multiple years of activity.
• Recipients should be kind and compassionate in their nature, especially toward teammates of lesser talents and generous with their time.
• Recipients should exhibit leadership by always working for the advancement of the team rather than individual glory.
• A sense that persistence always means personal satisfaction. Mr. Caplin’s favorite encouraging phrase with his team was “never, ever give up.”
Ms. Pastorelli is headed to the College of Charleston. She captured All-League and All-Division recognition with the Blue Devil track and field program. Mr. McGuire has won league, division, county, state and national championships with the Huntington track team. He was a member of a Blue Devil 4x400m relay that broke a 50 year old New York State record in the event. He plans to study criminal justice at the University at Buffalo.
Last year’s Caplin scholarship recipients were Latoya Shand and Kyle O’Brien. Both were also Blue Devil track royalty. Ms. Shand is now studying at Binghamton University and running on the track team there while Mr. O’Brien is pursuing a degree at SUNY Maritime where he’s on the cross country squad.
Mr. Caplin was the owner of DJC Associates, a consulting firm. He enjoyed discussing history and current events, movies, traveling and playing golf. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Marcy, children Sarahbeth and Greg and brother, Noah Caplin.
One of Mr. Caplin’s last messages to his classmates went like this: “So my friends, does life get difficult? Sure. Is it always fair Heck no! In the end, I think what matters most is what we do with all of that and the lasting impact we leave on those close to us. May you all find peace and contentment in life. I think that’s about the best we can do.”