‘Terrible, terrible thing’: Former coaches of accused Salmon Arm shooter shocked

Matrix Gathergood, 25, excelled in football, rugby during his time at Salmon Arm Secondary

Matrix Gathergood in his 2012 Salmon Arm Secondary graduation photo.

The man accused in the shooting death of a church elder at the Salmon Arm Church of Christ on Sunday, April 14 once excelled as an athlete at Salmon Arm Secondary.

Matrix Gathergood, now 25, stands charged with first degree murder in the killing of Gordon Parmenter, 78, as well as aggravated assault and disguising his face with the intent to commit an offence.

Gathergood played several sports, including football, rugby and wrestling. His coaches are shocked by the charges.

Ray Munsie, who coached him in wrestling, is shaken.

“Wrestling is a tremendously transformative sport, more than any I’ve been involved in,” says Munsie, who has coached high school wrestling since 1972 and worked with 13 Olympians.

“Kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” he says, his voice breaking. “My ability to transform his character, to build his character, I failed. I’m so sad for everyone involved. When you get so deeply invested in kids… This is a terrible, terrible thing.”

He describes Gathergood as strong, powerful and very tough, but also mean if he knew he was better than somebody.

“He had issues for sure, but I would never have seen this coming. When you say he’s been charged, I could never have predicted that.”

Read more: Man charged with first-degree murder in Salmon Arm church shooting

Read more: Man killed in Salmon Arm church shooting remembered as father figure to many

Read more: Former foster child lovingly remembers Salmon Arm shooting victim

Read more: City of Salmon Arm flags fly at half mast as city mourns church shooting victim

Greg Seed coached Gathergood in rugby.

“That’s a bit of a shocker; I don’t know what to say,” said Seed, a teacher at SAS.

“I coached him for a couple of years in high school. In Grade 8 he was a phenomenal player – fit, athletic, a huge positive influence on the team.”

Seed described him as “a force to be reckoned with” on the field, strong and solid with a love for tackling the opposition. Seed says he saw him more recently at a wedding and he was different; it appeared he was “not heading down the most academic path.”

Seed said Gathergood’s father drove him and his brother to football and rugby practices, and he said the Gathergoods and Parmenters both lived in Silver Creek, not far apart.

SAS teacher Rob Neid coached him in football and describes him as a good athlete.

“He did well in the sports that he played,” Neid said Monday.

In 2011, Gathergood was featured in the Salmon Arm Observer when he had advanced to the final stage of try-outs for Team BC.

Asked his reaction to the charges, Neid said: “It’s a pretty sad story. I lost touch with him when he left high school. I know he was dealing with some things. I don’t really know him anymore.”

The allegations against Gathergood have not been proven in court.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

VALLEY SENIORS: Ernie and Margaret Bigelow enjoy 60 years of marriage

The couple met in Port Alberni when Ernie bought a “shack” next door to Margaret

Alberni darts player heading to national championships

Jason Bagnell is fundraising for his trip to Nova Scotia

ARTS AROUND: Giant book sale approaches in Port Alberni

This is the last week to drop off all your donations

Port Alberni ‘a safe place to be’ despite crime rate, says RCMP

Criminal offences up in Port Alberni for the first quarter of 2019

Portal Players production touches on residential schools

Sisters chronicles a convent-run residential school in Canada

VIDEO: Alberni Valley celebrates Easter weekend

Port Alberni children enjoy Easter egg hunts and spring activities

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man charged with daughters’ murders

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

Most Read