WILMINGTON — This year’s Vince Lombardi Outstanding Down Lineman Awards Dinner is set for Monday, Dec. 10 at the Clinton County Fairgrounds Expo Center, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Former Clinton-Massie standout running back Drew Frey, who later was a First-Team All Big East free safety at the University of Cincinnati, will be this year’s guest speaker.
Frey, a 2007 Clinton-Massie graduate who was inducted into the CMHS Hall of Fame last winter, realizes the importance of hard work by the members of the offensive line from his days as a Falcon, when he rushed for over 3,400 yards. He also scored 25 touchdowns his senior year at Clinton-Massie.
“Drew shared with me how he felt the members of his offensive line were key factors in the Falcons’ success,” said event chairman Bill Liermann. “They were the ones who helped make it possible for him and many other running backs who followed him, to accumulate the strong rushing attack Clinton-Massie football has a strong reputation for. He would like to reflect on those contributions of those linemen, and give them the credit they deserve.”
During Frey’s four years at Massie, the Falcons went 10-0, 8-2, 8-2 and 9-1, making the Division IV playoffs, and advancing to the regional finals.
Following his career with the Falcons, Frey went on to play college football for the University of Cincinnati Bearcats, first under Brian Kelly (now at Notre Dame) and his successor Butch Jones.
Recently, he was able to reunite with the Falcons, serving as an assistant coach during the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Today, he is the owner/operator of HQ Innovations LLC, a small-business contracting firm he founded in 2016.
In recent years, the Outstanding Down Lineman event has been able to continue with financial assistance from the athletic booster clubs of the four Clinton County high schools, along with participating sponsors Beacon Orthopedics and Drayer Physical Therapy. CMH Regional Health System also assists with helping underwriting the cost of securing the Expo Center.
Originally started after the death of the legendary Green Bay Packers coach who died of cancer in 1970, Clinton County started with its version of the event in 1974.
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 Smorgasbord. In later years it was moved to the Elks #797, to the former Roberts Arena on SR 730, and in more recent years, the Expo Center Banquet Hall.
We appreciate the support of the local business groups and the Clinton County Agricultural Society (Fairboard) for making the Expo Center available for the event, said Liermann. 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 each.
Each of Clinton County’s head football coaches have been informed of the date and will be submitting their nominees soon (two down linemen), and they will compete for the coveted Block of Granite Award.
The award is made possible by Wilmington Auto Center, along with NAPA Auto Parts, and assistance from Red Dot Trophy in New Vienna, which secures the block of granite each year.
The eight nominees will be announced next week.