By Doug Huff, West Virginia Sports Writers Association
WHEELING, W.Va. — Tickets for the 74th annual Victory Awards Dinner are now on sale. The nation’s oldest statewide sports fete is sponsored by the West Virginia Sports Association and recognizes the state’s top sports achievers and personalities.
It will be held on May 23 at the Embassy Suites in Charleston. Start time is 4 p.m. Last year’s Dinner was cancelled because of the pandemic. Headlining the fete will be the induction of 2020 West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame inductees Mike Barber and Monte Cater.
Barber, a Winfield High School graduate, became a two-time consensus Division I-AA All-America wide receiver and National Player of the Year at Marshall University and is one of only 11 state prep products inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Cater, the Shepherd University football coach from 1987-2017, retired as the state’s all-time winningest college football coach with a 245-93-1 record with 17 conference championships, six unbeaten regular season teams and a NCAA Division II runner-up.
Other major award winners include:
- Furfari Award (College Coach of Year) — Tianni Kelly, U. of Charleston women’s basketball
- Kennedy Award (Prep Football Player of Year) and Warner Award (Top Running Back) — Blake Hartman, Musselman
- Sam Huff Award (Top Defensive Player) — Zeiqui Lawton, South Charleston
- Stydahar Award (Top Lineman) — Wyatt Milum, Spring Valley
- House Award (Top Quarterback) — Gage Michael, Fairmont Senior
- Moss Award (Top Receiver) — Ethan Parsons, Princeton
- Howley Award (Top Linebacker) — Caden Biser, Morgantown
- Lee Award (Top Defensive Back) — Anthony Smith, Martinsburg
- Walker Award (Top Special Teams Player) — Colby Piner, Greenbrier East
- Boys Soccer Player of Year — Coleman Meredith, Wheeling Park
- Girls Soccer Player of Year — Graceylyn Hanna, Wheeling Park
- Volleyball Player of Year — Chylyn Pate, Greenbrier East
- Doug Huff Award (Leadership, Hustle, Determination) — Zara Zervos, John Marshall
- Kennedy Foundation Scholarships — Naieem Kearney, Martinsburg; and Hunter Patterson, Oak Glen
- Morehouse Award (2020) — Rich Stevens, Charleston
- and Morehouse Award (2021) — Chris Johnson, Bridgeport
Five more awards to be recognized will be announced prior to the Dinner:
- The Hardman Award (Amateur Athlete of Year);
- Van Meter Award (High School Coach of Year);
- Dutton Award (Wrestler of Year);
- Ostrowski Award (Girls Basketball Player of Year); and
- and Evans Award (Boys Basketball Player of Year).
The Dinner is open to the public with advance ticket sales through May 17. No tickets will be sold at the door.
Information on tickets, and sales, may be obtained from Rick Ryan at the Charleston Gazette-Mail sports department; Jim Workman at Wally’s & Wimpy’s Sports Digest in St. Albans; Rick Kozlowski at the Martinsburg Journal sports department; and Doug Huff, the banquet chairman and WVSWA secretary-treasurer, at P.O. Box 6076, Wheeling, WV 26003.
The list of annual awards dating back to 1934 may be found at wvswa.org