Hampton wrestler steps up to help teammate who lost home in fire

Saturday, January 16, 2021 | 9:01 AM

On a school night in early November, Hampton’s Jayden Resch disappeared into a spare bedroom for a few hours.

The 172-pound junior wrestler had learned the home of classmate Jacob Premick was significantly damaged in a Nov. 3 fire, and he was driven to do something about it.

“He’s been my buddy since he moved here in middle school,” Resch said, “and I kind of felt sick to my stomach about it.”

Doing homework or playing video games could wait. Watching TV or going to sleep could wait.

Resch stayed up and, sitting alone at a computer in his house, got to work creating a GoFundMe page to help the devastated family.

“I was talking to his dad after the fact, and he said (Jayden) kind of disappeared for two hours,” wrestling coach Chris Hart said Jan. 10. “He was upstairs on a computer putting this thing together.”

The response was amazing. His initial GoFundMe goal of raising $10,000 quickly fell. The drive ended up collecting roughly $36,000 from more than 500 donors whose gifts ranged from $1,018 to $5.

“It was awesome, just the fact that he started it and raised the amount of money he did,” Premick said. “It was crazy, and my family is super thankful for that. I really don’t even know how to thank him for that.”

Resch and Premick are both juniors and teammates on the Hampton football and wrestling teams. Premick, a 160-pound wrestler, was one of the Talbots’ leading rushers for this season’s WPIAL 4A playoff team. Resch, who will wrestle at 172, earned honorable mention all-Greater Allegheny Conference honors at fullback.

No one was injured in the fire, but the damages were extensive. The Premicks, who have been staying with family members and in a rented townhouse, are hoping to rebuild their Cramlington Drive home, Jacob Premick said.

Hart said Resch’s GoFundMe initiative is typical of his wrestler. Resch last season competed against much heavier opponents, at 195 pounds, all for the good of the team. He finished 13-11 and reached the WPIAL Class AAA tournament.

“I was really proud how he took such a leadership role, not just among his friends but in the community,” Hart said of Resch’s GoFundMe effort. “He didn’t ask for help. Just did it on his own.

“And he did it for no reason other than to help Jake and his family. There was no hidden agenda. It was purely done by the goodness of his heart, and that’s a tough characteristic to measure.”

Resch said he never had any hesitation when it came to doing something nice for his friend.

“He’s adopted, and he moved here in sixth or seventh grade,” Resch said. “He was a foster kid. … The hardest part for him was he’s finally feeling comfortable in his house. He told his mom (Pat) two weeks before the fire, ‘I’m actually so happy in this house.’ Whenever I heard that and now his house is gone, that was just awful.”

Resch, like all Hampton winter athletes, is dealing with a challenging sports season. The Talbots recently returned to practice following Gov. Tom Wolf’s three-week covid shutdown. They lost their opener, 45-23 to Butler on Jan. 13, and were scheduled to wrestle Jan. 16 at the Seneca Valley Duals.

“It’s rough with everything going on right now,” Resch said, “but we are making it the best we can.”

As for the GoFundMe effort, there were a few hurdles. Because Resch is a minor, he wasn’t allowed to run a fundraiser. So his mom, Kristy, took over management of the donations.

When the GoFundMe checks were presented to a tearful Pat Premick, Jayden Resch said he experienced mixed emotions.

“It felt rewarding that I could help them out,” he said. “Jacob’s clothes were gone. His shoes, his games. Everything was gone. I just wanted to give them a little boost. But, then again, seeing his mom — and she’s one of the nicest ladies you will ever meet — and her crying, I don’t know if I was more happy or sad, you know?”


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