By Bill Nestor
News and Journal Sports Editor
The 34th Annual Frank Loria Awards Dinner was held this past Monday, March 20th at the Bridgeport Conference Center.
The award is named after Clarksburg native Frank Loria. Loria is a 1964 graduate of Notre Dame High School where he earned All State honors. Loria became an All American (the first) at Virginia Tech. He went on to coach at Marshall as an assistant and was killed in a plane crash in 1970.
This year’s event showcased the 2016 1st team All-County Football Team as well as several guests of honor, including the Governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice. Also in attendance were former WVU Athletic Director Ed Pastilong, Marshall University Athletic Director Mike Hamrick, former Marshall Coach Red Dawson, Harrison County Superintendent Dr. Mark Manchin, Senator Mike Romano, and several collegiate football coaches.
There were several awards given during the event and among them were the Columbian Award for Academic Excellence won by Lincoln’s Justin Hughes; a $1,000 scholarship given to Robert C. Byrd’s Gino Messenger; The Coach of the Year Award given to Bridgeport’s Josh Nicewarner and The Loria Lineman of the Year won by South Harrison’s Corey Fowler. The main award of the evening, The Frank Loria Award was given to South Harrison’s Cam Barnette.
The event continues to grow annually and it continues to be one of the most prestigious events acknowledging the efforts of high school athletes in the State of West Virginia.