Friends gather to remember Kincaid
WINFIELD -- He would have loved it.
That's what Dusty Kincaid said about his big brother, 20-year-old Tyler Kincaid, and what he'd think of seeing his friends pack the stands at Winfield High School's baseball field Sunday night. As the sun sank beyond the third base line, Tyler's many friends and their parents sat and told stories about him playing ball and going fishing, hunting and mudding.
The gathering was organized to honor the 2011 Winfield High graduate and cope with the news of his passing, which quickly spread throughout Putnam County on Sunday morning. Putnam County sheriff's deputies told media outlets that Kincaid was walking on railroad tracks in Scott Depot when he was struck by a train about 3 a.m. Sunday, according to an Associated Press report. The sheriff could not be reached Sunday for further details.
He was the son of Shari and Barry Kincaid of Winfield, brother to Dusty and Jake Kincaid and stepbrother to Steven Krieps.
It's the second time the community has rallied for the Kincaid family. In March 2012, Dusty suffered a serious injury while pitching in a Winfield High baseball game, taking a line drive to the head. He spent the following days in the hospital, then weeks in therapy. He then followed in Tyler's footsteps to play baseball with him for the Yellow Jackets at West Virginia State University.
"The second time for everyone to come out here, it means the world, and I know it means the world for him, too," Dusty said Sunday. "Tyler was an amazing person, inside and out. He had the biggest heart of anybody I ever knew. I loved him with all my heart."
Barrett Arnold, who played ball with Tyler at Winfield, organized the vigil to give community members a chance to talk and show support for the family.
"I appreciate the way this community comes together," he said. "The support is immense in this area."
He described his friend as eccentric and outgoing, and many friends shared stories that fell right in line with that description. The mood shifted from somberness to laughter as several people got up and shared stories, including close friends Jared Payne, Drew Moore and Alex Murray.
Payne told a lot of fishing stories about his friend, including one about him dropping a $200 fishing pole into 14-foot backwater and catching a fish while trying to fish out the pole.
"I'll never forget Tyler. He was one of my very best friends," Payne said. "He's up in heaven right now catching bigger bass than you could ever catch here. ... I never met a kid I could get in a fight with and be best friends again the next day."
Wade Walters was Kincaid's teammate at State, and said Kincaid had a personality all parents want their kid to have. He could always cheer him up, he said.
"I could have four strikeouts, and he could get me laughing, and I'd leave the ballpark happy," he said.
Barrett's father, Clint Arnold, had coached Kincaid in summer and fall baseball. He said Kincaid made an impact on him once by showing humility during a fall baseball game when Kincaid got "spitting mad" and threw a bat. Arnold had a rule that players who threw bats were taken out of the game. Kincaid was not happy about that, but afterward apologized to Arnold in front of the whole team. From that moment on, he became a team leader, Arnold said, and the next spring, the team had its best Class AAA season.
He was a standout player even as a youth, parents said, including Fred Wright, who coached him on some youth teams.
"He was like one of mine. Eight years old on that baseball field," Wright said. "One thing about Tyler Kincaid -- he was never afraid to lose. He taught me that -- that we need to live life, have fun."
Life is short.
There were other stories -- about what a talented athlete he was, in football and baseball, about how fiercely competitive he was, be it sports or playing video games such as "Call of Duty" or Facebook Ping Pong.
The gathering was an amazing tribute, his stepbrother said.
"It's the way this community is," Krieps said. "They showed their colors with Dusty, and they're showing it again. He was my brother, and I loved him. That's all I got."
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