PSHS football coach elected Plainfield Township Supervisor

Delaney O'Sullivan, Editor in Chief

Stepping into a leadership role is a large responsibility, but Coach Al Tinsley makes it look easy. Not only does he coach at South, Tinsley was recently elected Plainfield Township Supervisor, a role that requires him to act as a spokesperson for the township, overseeing how it is ran.

Tinsley has coached at South for four years, but he has been a coach in Plainfield for nineteen. He also coached baseball and basketball in the past. Players note his good attitude and coaching style.

“Coach Tinsley always brings a positive energy to the team,” said former football player Aidan Kolb.

Tinsley says football is “so much more than just a game” and that he loves the people he’s met more than the game itself. He says it’s important to give young players a positive male role model.  

As a coach it is evident that he cares about his players and wants them to be successful in life, not just football. He goes out of his way to work extra hours with them,” said head varsity coach Bill Bicker. 

Tinsley said he was raised to live a life of service.

 In April 2021, the Plainfield community went to the polls to vote for local officials. A few months prior, it was reported that Anthony Fremarek, the Plainfield Township supervisor at the time, had been charged with wire fraud as well as creating false financial statements. It is estimated that he embezzled about $1.38 million between the years 2013-2019, according to prosecutors. 

Fremarek did not intend on dropping out of the race and was running unopposed. Tinsley saw this as an opportunity, wanting to give the people of Plainfield ethical, transparent leadership. 

“It was disappointing to me that so many candidates were running unchallenged,” Tinsley said.

Fremarek resigned in March 2021 and withdrew from the election, leaving no official candidates. Tinsley decided to run as a write-in, receiving six hundred and four votes and winning the election. 

Tinsley is the first black elected official in Plainfield Township and his feelings on the matter are bittersweet.  

“In one sense, I’m proud and in another sense, it’s painful,” he said. “It should be one of those things that doesn’t matter.”

Harry Benton, Plainfield village trustee and former state representative candidate, worked with Tinsley on an issue regarding flooding in a Plainfield neighborhood. He said Tinsley brings a new perspective and viewpoint to the township.

“He has an outstanding background and is qualified for the job,” Benton said. 

Benton also noted the importance of diversity within the township government. 

“Change is good,” he said. “You don’t plant a whole garden full of the same flowers, if you plant different flowers, you get that beauty,” he added. 

Tinsley’s campaign Facebook page lists that he plans to bring increased government transparency, to support local small businesses, economic development, and to support local law enforcement. His term runs through May 2025.