Wilmington College football coach Bryan Moore will be the keynote speaker at the 45th annual Vince Lombardi Down Lineman of the Year awards dinner 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Expo Center on the Clinton County Fairgrounds.
“I am happy Bryan will be this year’s speaker,” said Lombardi chairman Bill Liermann. “His impact, as well as that of his staff, cannot be judged on just wins and losses. There was marked improvement from the 2017 Quakers, as they turned the corner and fought in every contest. Bryan and his staff are working hard to change the culture (at Wilmington College) and they are striving to hopefully build a winning program. I am sure he will have a strong message to give at this year’s banquet.”
Eight football players, two offensive or defensive down linemen from each of the Clinton County high school teams, are nominated by their respective coaches for the honor. The winner receives a block of granite award.
The block of granite is in reference to Lombardi’s playing days as a lineman for Fordham University. The unit was so strong they were called “seven blocks of granite.”
The nominees will be announced at a later date.
”Thanks to the four high school athletic booster groups, CMH Regional Health System plus Beacon Orthopedics and Drayer Physical Therapy, we have been able to keep this program going,” said Liermann.
The Lombardi Award is named after the legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, who died of the cancer in 1970. Clinton County started its version of the event in 1973.
Spearheaded by former Wilmington News-Journal sports editor Clarence Graham and local businessman, the late Harold Losey, this event began at the old Bengal room at the former location of Duff’s Smorgasboard. In later years it was moved to the Elks Lodge 797, Roberts Arena on state Route 730, and the Expo Center.
“We appreciate the support of the local business groups and the Clinton County Agricultural Society for making the Expo Center available for the event,” Liermann said. “Again this year, we will feature a buffet-style meal provided by McCoy’s Catering and the public is welcome to attend.”
Tickets may be purchased at the door for $15.
The award is made possible by Wilmington Auto Center, along with NAPA Auto Parts, and assistance from Red Dot Trophy in New Vienna, who secures the block of granite each year.