(Story by the West Virginia Sportswriters Association)

SPENCER, W.Va. — Alex Miller has been selected winner of the 2020 Doug Huff Award from the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.

Miller, a Roane County High School senior, died suddenly and unexpectedly last September 13 on the football field in Clay County.

“The award is given to a high school senior athlete who exhibits leadership, hustle and determination plus the intangibles beyond the black-and-white statistics,” the Association announced. “Alex exhibited all of those positive qualities, and more, and is posthumously recognized.”

His parents, Sean and April Miller, accepted the plaque. “This award means a lot to our family to keep Alex’ memory alive. We love how our community and state pulled together and honored our son,” his father said.

The Doug Huff Award is named for the four-decade secretary-treasurer of the WVSWA, who is one of only five U.S. media members inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame. Awarded since 2015, the recipients are listed on the wvswa.org website.

Photo by Marcus Constantino

Roane County’s Daniel Bush (6), Cameron Bennett (9), Isaac Ryan (22), and Kenny Kelly (55) carry the jersey of their late teammate Alex Miller.

Besides the award, the 5-foot-8, 140-pound wide receiver was selected to an “honorary” position on the Class AA all-state team by the WVSWA. It’s the first such designation since 1943.

Roane County football coach Paul Burdette said, “Alex was a team-first player and great leader who led by example. He was very dedicated and a hard worker who put in the extra time in the weight room and off-season. An unselfish player, he was liked by everyone who knew him, especially our close-knit team. He will be missed but never forgotten.”

Russell Stump, a team assistant coach, teacher, and pastor at Boggs Fork Community Church, says “Alex was an All-American young man. Everyone on the team had the highest respect for him. He set an example for others who looked to him for leadership. He was a top-calibre person with the highest values and morals. His legacy will live on in the memories of those who knew him.”