A tradition nearly two decades old celebrating Harrison County's top football talent continues Monday night.
The 17th Annual Frank Loria Awards Dinner, sponsored by the Columbian Club, will begin at 6:30 p.m. at South Harrison High School. Among those honored will be the 27-member all-Harrison County football team.
"The reason for the event, in cooperation with the Harrison County School Board, is to reward the student athlete for their achievements, academically and athletically," dinner chairman Clarence Fiber said.
In addition, the memory of Loria also is honored. The budding career of the Notre Dame standout and All-American at Virginia Tech was cut short in the tragic Marshall University football team plane crash in 1970, killing all 75 aboard. Loria, at age 23, was a Thundering Herd assistant coach.
Monday's list of guests includes Pro Football Hall of Famer Frank Gatski, West Virginia University athletic director Ed Pastilong, former WVU and St. Mary's High School three-sport standout Russell "Razz" Lopez, along with former Bridgeport and current WVU player Zach Anglin and former WVU player Donnie Lindsey.
Guest speaker will be former Mountaineer and all-Big East performer Anthony Becht.
The Frank Loria Award will be presented to the most outstanding Harrison County football player. High morals and representing the ideals Loria stood for also factor into the award.
Also presented will be the Columbian Club Award for Academic Excellence to the senior member of the all-county team with the highest grade point average. The football Coach of the Year award also will be presented.
Offensive players who will be honored at the dinner are: Trey Adams, Chris Cunanan, Mike Donnellan, Ben Hall, Brad Heffinger, Evan Kupec, Ryan Nicewarner, David Patterson, Jason Reppert, Jimmie Rogers, Scott Ross, Chad Southern, Cody Wilt and Jeremy Wright.
Defensive players are: Joey Gonzalez, Joe Jenkins, Mookie Mayer, Matt McIntyre, Josh Nicewarner, Steve Otto, Brian Riley, Robbie Riley, C.R. Rohrbough, Drew Toth, Luke Wallace, Max Williams and Mike Wilt.