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Shown here at a Valley Tech football game this fall are, l-r, BVT Principal Anthony Steele, BVT Assistant Football Coach and teacher Derek Yancik. and BVT Superintendent Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick. BVT photo

Beloved BVT Teacher, Coach Dies After Bout with Cancer
Blackstone Valley Tech football assistant coach Derek Yancik passed away last week after battling pancreatic cancer, but not before inspiring an entire community and countless students in the classroom and on the football field.
"He was a fighter," BVT head football coach Jim Archibald said Monday," and we are all better off for having known him."
Archibald and Yancik coached together for seven years, from 2010 through the 2017 season.
"He loved his students and players," Archibald said. "He was so proud of all his kids at BVT, he would do anything for any one of them. He was truly a special person."Blackstone Valley Tech Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael F. Fitzpatrick said Yancik died Monday. Yancik served as an instructor in the
school's Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration department. On the football field, he coached the offensive and defensive lines.
"Mr. Yancik was a beloved member of the Valley Tech staff who dedicated his career to inspiring students," Fitzpatrick said in a message to the BVT community. "Mr. Yancik greeted everyone with a smile as a morning monitor, instilled discipline and team work in his students and football players, and developed curriculum within the HVAC&R program that is used statewide. The loss of Mr. Yancik will surely have a significant impact on our entire school community."
Although he was not able to be with the team as much last fall, as he underwent treatment, Yancik served as source of strength for the Beavers as they put together a memorable march to the Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.
Just before the big game, Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady delivered a video message, wishing Yancik and the Beavers luck. On Monday, numerous took to social media to express their love and support for a man who always had their backs at BVT.
"Thank you for making me the player I am today," Valley Tech junior Jack Clem wrote on Twitter. "You were/still are one of the main reasons why I bust my ass everyday to be the best. You pushed everyone to be the best. Your legacy will always be part of the team."
Other students and former students called Yancik a mentor, one who taught valuable lessons and changed their lives for the better.
Reece Hendriks, a senior quarterback for the Beavers last fall, Tweeted that he was happy Yancik's final season with the program was so successful.
"Rest easy Coach," Hendriks wrote, "you touched the lives of so many and I'm glad we could give you one last ride this season, you'll be with us forever."




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