The Western New York football community is in mourning the loss of one of its own.
Trench Trophy scout and awards dinner announcer Daryle “Milt” Gustavel passed away Thursday at age 47. The cause of death is undetermined but his brother, Brian, said Daryle may have suffered a heart attack.
“He hadn’t seen a doctor in years,” Brian said. “We’re not really sure what happened.”
Gustavel scouted and graded linemen for consideration for the Trench Trophy, which is given to the top senior two-way lineman in the area each season.
In addition to that, he headed the Trench’s hall of fame and compiled the organization’s database that listed the top sophomore and junior talents.
“It’s a big loss for us all,” said Canisius assistant coach Bryce Hopkins. “What was notable about him is not only how he cared about the game and Western New York but the kids and promoting all the good work they did on and off the field.”
“It’s devastating to us,” added Trench Trophy co-chairman Carl Kuras. “He was such an integral part to high school football and high school athletics in general.”
During the awards dinner, it was “Milt” who introduced the finalists for the Trench Trophy, as he did last week.
“It was always a nice, unique touch I think the kids appreciated,” Hopkins said. “It’s just another example of how he went above and beyond.”
The family will be present Wednesday from 3-7 p.m. at Amigone Funeral Home in Elma. A funeral service will follow at 7 p.m.