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Indians Honored at Loria Awards

By Chris Johnson, 06/29/21, 5:00PM EDT

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Robert C. Byrd’s Jeremiah King was named the 2021 Loria Award winner at the 38th annual Frank Loria Awards Banquet Monday while the other three top honors went to Bridgeport High School.

The Indians’ Devin Hill was named the Loria Lineman of the Year. John Cole was chosen as the Frank Loria Coach of the Year and the Frank Loria Academic Achievement Award went to J.D. Love.

The event which is sponsored by the Clarksburg Columbian Club, in cooperation and conjunction with the Harrison County School System, was held virtually for the second consecutive year because of COVID-19.

Harrison County native and current Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher was the guest speaker.

The Loria Awards Banquet celebrates the high athletic and academic standards of Harrison County native Frank Loria —Virginia Tech University’s first All-American in 1966 and first Consensus All-American in 1967 including Academic All-American Honors. “Frankie Paul,” as he was known to his family and friends, went on to play professionally and eventually coached at Marshall University.

Loria died at the age of 23 in the tragic 1970 Marshall University plane crash with nearly the entire football team.

King became RCB’s all-time leading rusher in a junior season in which he ran for 1,718 yards on 189 attempts with 24 touchdowns while adding 15 catches for 347 yards and three more TDs.

Hill, a two-time first-team all-state selection who will continue his career at West Virginia State was the leading force for an offensive line that paved the way for the Indians to average more than 385 yards rushing per game in 2020, their first back in Class AAA after a dominant run in Class AA. He was also a standout in the trenches on the defensive side of the ball.

Love, a senior running back/linebacker had 321 rushing yards and four TDs on offense as well as 31 tackles and an interception on defense. He carried a 4.12 GPA and will be attending the University of Tennessee in the fall where he will be majoring in engineering.

Cole stepped down as head coach after the 2020 season but will still be on the staff as the offensive line coach in 2021. He directed the Indians to an 8-1 record last season and were proclaimed the AAA runner-up after the pandemic ended the football playoffs prematurely.

BHS won its playoff opener against Washington but saw quarterfinal and semifinal games get wiped out before the state called off the rest of the postseason.

Cole took over as head coach in 2017 and posted a 43-6 record that includes the 2019 Class AA state championship.

Seven other BHS football players were honored at the banquet as first-team members of the All-Harrison County team.

On offense, the Indians were represented by Peyton Henderson (OL), Wyatt Minor (OL) and Cam Cole (Utility).

Defensively, in addition to Hill (DL) and Love (LB), first-teamers for BHS were J.T. Muller (DL), Tanner Saltis (DL), Hayden Moore (DB) and Austin Springer (P).

The rest of the all-county offense honored consists of: RCB’s Xavier Lopez (QB), Liberty’s Sayveon Beafore (RB), RCB’s Bryson Lucas (WR), Lincoln’s Zach Snyder (WR), Lincoln’s Payton Hawkins (OL), RCB’s Charles Leggett (OL), Liberty’s Devin Mayers (OL), South Harrison’s Jacob Haddix (Utility), Lincoln’s Antwan Hilliard (Utility) and RCB’s Cameron Clark (K).

Rounding out the all-county defense are: RCB’s Trace Wagner (DL), Liberty’s Chayton Harris (LB), Lincoln’s Levi Moore (LB), Lincoln’s Johnny Lopez (DB), Liberty’s Tanner Moore (DB), Lincoln’s Corey Prunty (DB), RCB’s Tommy Hawkins (Utility) and RCB’s Makia Payne (Utility).