Though he helped lead Amsterdam High School to two consecutive Class A football league titles in his junior and senior years, Dave “the Rocket” Weissman was not exactly warmly welcomed when he first arrived at the Lindbergh Ave. school in September of 1971. The problem was that he had attended and played football for Perth High School in his freshman and sophomore seasons and some of the returning members of the Amsterdam Rugged Rams gridiron squad were not exactly well versed in the art of welcoming outsiders to their close-knit fraternity. So I remember very clearly the first day of the 1971 school year being told by some of my good buddies who were on that team that many on the squad were not enamored with the young fleet-fitted running back. But then I met the guy myself. And one of the first things I noticed was just how nice he was to everybody. Now if you remember back to your own high school days, there were usually a certain clique of “jocks,” usually among the upper classmen, who thought their own excrement didn’t stink and who treated most non-jock males and any girl not considered popular as if they were from a sub-human species. From his first day at Wilbur Lynch, Weissman went out of his way to make sure he befriended these very same people. And the most impressive thing about it was that even after the first few football games, during which he proved his talent and toughness as a fleet-footed running back and earned the respect of even his most arrogant teammates, this guy didn’t change his friend-making ways. In fact, he doubled down on them, as if he realized how bad the hurt felt by teenagers who’ve been ostracized and decided he was going to be different, and he was.