— By Tim Stephens, The Herald-Dispatch
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — J.R. House is the third base coach with the Cincinnati Reds.
The player who won the honor — premier high school quarterback in West Virginia — named for House also will take his talents to southwest Ohio. Huntington High quarterback Gavin Lochow, a University of Dayton recruit, is the House Award winner as selected by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association. Lochow claimed the award for the second consecutive season.
House was a prolific passer at Nitro High School and set national records before opting to play professional baseball. He played in the big leagues from 2003 through 2008 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles.
Lochow, a 6-foot, 200-pound senior, captained the Class AAA all-state team, after leading the Highlanders to a 13-1 record and a 28-3 victory over Parkersburg South in the state championship game.
The MaxPreps player of the year in West Virginia, Lochow completed 130 of 207 passes for 2,192 yards and 35 touchdowns, with four interceptions, and ran for 1,132 yards and 16 touchdowns on 131 carries.
“He’s the best in the state,” Huntington coach Billy Seals said. “We were confident any time the ball was in his hands. He wanted the ball in his hands when the game was on the line.”
Lochow chose Dayton from several offers. His father, Steve, was a defensive lineman with the Flyers from 1990 through 1993. The younger Lochow said he inherited some of his dad’s football ability, but received more athletic prowess from his mother, pediatrician Amy Ditty Lochow, a former tennis star at Furman University.
Gavin Lochow said he didn’t choose Dayton because of his dad, an orthopedic surgeon at St. Mary’s Medical Center. The younger Lochow said he was impressed by the NCAA Division I program competing at the FCS level. “Davidson recruited me hard and I loved it there, loved the coaches,” he said. “When I went to Dayton, a few visits, then to camp with my dad, it felt right. I just felt like I had to go there. He didn’t push me to go to Dayton. Maybe a little bit. He wouldn’t have been mad if I didn’t go there. He let me make my own decision. It definitely does play a factor. He’s proud to have me there.””
West Virginia State and the University of Charleston also offered the quarterback who in 2021 became the first player in the history of Huntington High to run and pass for more than 1,000 yards in the same season. Lochow completed 125 of 207 passes for 1,952 yards and 19 touchdowns. He rushed for 1,677 yards and 18 TDs on 254 carries to help the Highlanders go 13-1 and reach the Class AAA state championship game.
“I’m proud of him,” Steve Lochow said. “There’s not a better school and they have an incredible program.”
Gavin Lochow went to camps at several schools, including Brown, East Tennessee State, Gardner-Webb, Harvard, Wofford and Youngstown State. Some of those schools sought him as an athlete capable of playing other positions, but Dayton and Davidson wanted him as a quarterback.
Lochow will be honored at the WVSWA Victory Awards Dinner May 7 at the Embassy Suites in Charleston.