The very first Kennedy Award was handed out in 1947 when Darrell Patrick Shires, Jr., a running back from Hinton High School was given the award. Named for Harrison H. Kennedy of Wheeling, WV, the Kennedy Award is given annually to the WV High School Football Player of the Year as voted on by the WV Sports Writers Association. It is the second oldest statewide award, second only to the Hardman Award which is presented annually to the Amateur Athlete of the Year.
Over the 66 years the Kennedy Award has been presented, we have had a total of 65 winners. There was no Kennedy Award given in 1966 and 1967 and there were two awards given in 1998 when J. R. House of Nitro and Quincy Wilson of Weir tied for the honor. Of those 65 winners a total of 40 schools have been represented and there have been 41 winners from Class AAA….14 from Class AA and 10 Kennedy Award winners selected from Class A schools.
Of course the last two years, the award was taken home by Ryan Switzer from George Washington High School who is now playing for the Tar Heels of North Carolina. And, after only three weeks into the 2013 season it would appear as if there are several candidates to take home the hardware this year. The names that have already been talked about would have to include the following:
- Ross Comis Madonna
- Chazzy Thomas Morgantown
- Jake Parker Meadow Bridge
- Austin Hensley Hurricane
- Jalen Jones Oak Hill
- Cameron Loftus Scott
- Brent Osborne Woodrow Wilson
- Tyrhee Pratt Capital
- Nick Tubbs Huntington
- Tahj Sho-Johnson Princeton
- Kane Roush Wahama
- Nathan Spurlock Wayne
And, that’s just to name a few. You know schools like Martinsburg, Spring Valley, Cabell Midland, Wheeling Central and many others will have someone emerge and be mentioned in the selection process. Certainly at this point, no one know’s the name of this year’s Kennedy Award Winner – what we do know is there are many names to choose from!
What big games will the GAMENIGHT crew be watching this weekend? In Class AAA, the Princeton Tigers and the Capital Cougars will meet at University of Charleston Stadium and that should be a great showcase of speed and talent on both sides of the ball. Also in AAA, Parkersburg will travel to Ona, WV and try and slow down the high scoring Knights of Cabell Midland, while Head Coach Billy Seals and his talented Highlanders from Huntington will travel from Cabell County to Raleigh County to meet up with the Flying Eagles of Woodrow Wilson at Van Meter Stadium.
In Class AA, the undefeated Cougars of Lincoln will welcome a team they have never beaten in football as the once beaten Flying Eagles of Robert C. Byrd come calling and, in what is always a great battle the Scott Skyhawks will travel to Chapmanville to battle Tigers.
In Class A, the Cee-Bees of Clay Battelle will proudly open up their brand new football facility in Blacksville and will have to be ready to play as the Bishops of Bishop Donahue come calling. The very best game in the state this weekend might just be played on Saturday night as #1 Madonna will welcome #2 Wheeling Central Catholic.
For all the scores and interviews, be sure and join Dave Jecklin and me for High School GAMENIGHT presented by MVB Bank this Friday night. The show is heard across the state on over 40 radio stations and can also be heard on our website at wvmetronews.com.
Talk to you Friday night!