BENNINGTON -- The Southern Vermont College community and athletics department is dealing with a tragedy after a men’s soccer player was killed in a motorcycle accident on Saturday near his home in the Rochester suburb of Greece, N.Y.
Christopher J. Salva, 18, a freshman defenseman/forward for coach Tim Penrod and the Mountaineers, was a nursing major and graduated high school in 2011 from Aquinas Institute in Rochester.
According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle newspaper, Salva went off the road and hit a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
"This is a tremendous loss for the entire SVC community. The thoughts and prayers of the community and the men’s soccer program are with his family," said men’s soccer coach Tim Penrod in a statement. "CJ was a terrific young man liked by everyone. He never once complained about anything he was asked to do. His passion for the game was surpassed by few, and his desire to get better each and every day was admired by all of us.
As a coach, I could not ask more willing and dedicated player. Despite only being with us for a year, CJ deeply impacted all of us and he will not be forgotten. We will carry his memory with us on the field this fall, and every season thereafter."
Salva played in 14 games for Southern Vermont during his freshman season, starting five times. He scored one goal, a tally late in the first half in a win over Becker College on Oct. 18.
"Our hearts go out to CJ’s family and friends," said athletic director Michael McDonough. "We welcomed CJ to Southern Vermont College with all the hopes and aspirations one has as they enter college. CJ’s passing, and the lost opportunity for a fulfilling time at SVC and beyond, touches his teammates and coaches, the Mountaineer athletic family and the entire Southern Vermont family in a profound way."
A wake will be held today at the Vay-Schleich & Meeson Funeral Home and his funeral will take place on Friday at the Holy Cross Church in Greece.
According to college officials, the family has asked that gifts be made in his memory to the college in lieu of flowers. Discussions are ongoing how to honor Salva at SVC.