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Fox Brings Home Kennedy Award

By Staff | May 4, 2011

The Magnolia Blue Eagles’ Justin “Tank” Fox has received the 2010 Harrison H. Kennedy Award, presented annually to the top high school gridder in West Virginia at the annual 65 th VAD Banquet held in Clarksburg May 1.

Fox nosed out last year’s winner, Tyler Harris of South Charleston in the closest Kennedy Award contest in the 62 years the honor has been bestowed, with the exception of a tie in 1998.

David Gladden of Class-AAA winner Martinsburg, Joey Musick of state semifinalist Morgantown, and Keion Wright of Capital High School finished last in a three-way tie for third place.

The top 10 in the West Virginia Sports Writers Association voting were Felix Mollett of George Washington, Corey Wagner of Bridgeport, Cole Starcher of Ravenswood, Ryan Lazear of Brooke, and Ryan Jones of Bishop Donahue.

Fox has rewritten the record books at Magnolia High School. He surpassed the great Todd Morris in most completions, (414-342), attempts (785-675), and yards passed (6,645-5,291). He also vaulted over two-time Kennedy Award winner Mark Cisar in most touchdowns (68-64) in career totals.

Fox has been picked off only 16 times in four seasons, with only six coming during his senior season. He will go down in history as the winningest quarterback in the state, prevailing in 45-53 games out of a possible 56 games. He also ran for 176 yards in 2010 with nine touchdowns.

Fox was 71-80 in PATs this season and has split the uprights 152-171 in his career that included 10-21 field goals. As a punter, Fox has punted 95 times for a total of 2,906 yards for an average of 30.6 per punt. His longest punt traveled 56 yards. He has kicked off 225 times for 10,561 yards.

Magnolia is tied for second place in Kennedy Awards with three and is one behind Morgantown with four. Fox is the first OVAC performer since the great Quincy Wilson of Weir who shared it with Morgantown quarterback J.R. House in 1998.

Fox never came off the field, either. He was the quarterback, the punter, kicker, kick and punt returner, and cover corner on defense, too. On defense, Fox led the team in interceptions with six that included two in the state finale.

In his sophomore and junior years he made all-state first team in Class-AA as a punter and defender, respectively and this year was named a captain of the offense.

Fox thanked all his past and present teammates, coaches and his family and friends for helping him win the Kennedy Award. He added that he couldn’t have won it without them.

Justin is the son of Jeff and Jill Fox of New Martinsville and the grandson of Neil and Rosemary Fox of Paden City; Ed Hood and the late Ann Hood of Paden City. Fox, who has a 3.5 GPA will be attending West Virginia University after graduation and major in Fish and Wildlife Biology or Wildlife and Fisheries, while playing baseball for WVU.

Also receiving awards for first-team all state was Stephen “Rogo” Rogalski, who also won the Top Sophomore of the Year in the Wheeling Intelligencer’s 26th annual award. Rogalski hauled in 64 passes for 1,192 yards and 17 TDs, including a 99-yard TD in the playoffs. He averaged 18.6-yards a catch.

In addition to Fox and Rogalski on first team all-state was teammate Matt Riggs, while Traeh Keller was the only Blue Eagle to be named to the all-state defensive squad.

In boys’ basketball, Mark Winters was elected to the class-AA boys’ first team as well as Padyn Ludewig for the girls. It was Ludewig’s second consecutive year making the all-state first team.

Other awards given out included Amateur Athlete of the Year to Zach Amedro of West Liberty and Da’Sean Butler of West Virginia University. In addition, West Liberty Head Coach Jim Crutchfield won the College Coach of the Year.