August 13, 2016: as originally found on ABC 21 News.
March 11, 2015: as originally found on pennlive.com
REMEMBERING A HOMEGROWN FOOTBALL LEGEND
(an excerpt from the Penn Live article in his memory)
A WALK TO REMEMBER
Mike McElrath remembers the walk from his home in Lemoyne to Kirchhoff’s pad within earshot of West Shore Stadium.
With the West Shore Vikings midget team lining up on Saturdays, McElrath would load up his pads and cleats in a black garbage bag, meet up with Tom and go watch the hometown Colts on Friday nights.
About 12 hours later it was Kirchhoff pitching touchdown passes to McElrath seemingly by the minute.
“Tom and I have been best friends since I was 8-years-old. He was always there, through thick and thin,” McElrath said. “He was so selfless and humble, always looking out for the person next to him. That carried through in his life. He was really a brother to me.”
The relationship only strengthened when the pair reached high school, with Kirchhoff stacking 26 victories and two District 3-AAAA championships on legendary coach Bob Craig’s resume from 1987-88.
On Craig’s hard-running outfit, the 6-3, 210-pounder went for a midstate-best 1,833 passing yards and 19 touchdowns.
“He was a superstar in his own right, one of the best QBs in the country,” said Whalen, a brutish fullback for the Colts who went on to wrestle at Cornell.
“But he never once complained about handing off most of the time. That’s what set him apart, the kind of leader he was.”
Kirchhoff, the 1988 Mid-Penn Offensive Player of the Year and second-team all-state selection would take his talents to Lafayette College and grow a whole new set of admirers.
After a near five-year battle, Kirchhoff passed away from complications related to ALS on Tuesday. He was 44.
“Tom beat ALS by the way he lived his life, the way he persevered, and the way he impacted others,” said Penn State recruit and Cedar Clif Colt standout Adam Breneman.
“ALS may have taken Tom’s life, but ALS did not defeat Tom Kirchhoff. Tom did win his fight with ALS, and he leaves behind a legacy that has inspired and will continue to inspire many different people. Facing two major injuries in the last three years Tom’s story has given me the drive and courage to rehab and fight so hard. If I can live to be even half the man Tom Kirchhoff was, I will have won too.”
October 2014: Saints Team Up to Help our Friend Deven Jackon!
Click on the article below for the complete article accompanying the Nationally televised news story.