WVPA Sharing

Chris Johnson wins 2021 Morehouse Award

Release from the West Virginia Sports Writers Association:
 BRIDGEPORT — Chris Johnson has been selected the winner of the 2021 Morehouse Award by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association. 

The award is given for contributions to journalism and named for the late Marshall University sports information director and broadcaster Gene Morehouse, who was killed in the 1970 airplane crash that claimed the lives of 75 Marshall football players, coaches, staff and fans. The award has been given since 1971 with the list of recipients on the wvswa.org website.  

Johnson will be honored at the 74th annual Victory Awards Dinner on May 23 at the Embassy Suites in Charleston. Johnson, a life member of the 89-year-old Association, has been involved with newspapers since 1997 and active with WVSWA the last two decades including four yearly terms as President. 

“Chris has gone the extra mile in the all-state selection board processes,” Association secretary-treasurer Doug Huff said. “He stepped up to serve as chairman of three all-state boards for football, boys and girls basketball for three consecutive years and currently chairs the football selections since 2011 and the girls basketball honor rolls since 2016. He also chaired the boys basketball all-states from 2006-2019.” 

The Morehouse honoree earlier served on selection boards and helped create seven new annual WVSWA awards since 2014 — six football position honors and the Doug Huff Award for leadership, hustle and determination. 

Since January of 2020, Johnson has been a media specialist with WVSWA member Connect-Bridgeport, writing both sports and news. He earlier served as sports editor from 2010-17 of the Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram after joining the staff in 2003 as assistant sports editor.

He started his newspaper career in 1997 on the sports staff of the Parkersburg News & Sentinel and served as assistant sports editor and sports editor before departing in 2001. Before locating in Clarksburg, he worked briefly with the Morgantown Dominion-Post and the Buckhannon Record-Delta. 

A graduate of Philip Barbour High School and Marshall University, Johnson was Sports Editor, Editor and Managing Editor of The Parthenon college newspaper and a stringer for USA Today. 

“Anytime you are recognized by your peers, it is a tremendous honor,” Johnson said. “I know this award means a lot to everybody who has previously won it. I think for those of us that went to school at Marshall or worked covering Thundering Herd athletics, it means even more because we know how important the name Gene Morehouse is to the school, the city of Huntington and the entire state. I am truly honored and humbled to receive the Morehouse Award.”

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