The winners of the 2019-20 Daily News-Record Vincent D. Reilly Award were announced on Thursday with five city/county athletes earning the award.
Reilly was the sports editor of the DN-R from 1947 until he passed in 1963 at the early age of 44. He participated in football and basketball at Harrisonburg and wrote a popular column called “Up the Middle” about high school athletics.
He is remembered for his positive approach to high school athletes, always promoting them and never criticizing their mistakes on the field or the court. His contemporaries described him as the model that all sportswriters should strive to be. His legacy now lives through the award, which is bestowed annually on one senior from each city/county school who demonstrates the high standards of academic effort, athletic participation, and good sportsmanship.
This year’s winners were Broadway’s Ellie Witmer, Turner Ashby’s C.J. Haskins, Eastern Mennonite’s Abby Stapleton, Harrisonburg’s Jaylin Smith, and East Rockingham’s Catherine Orndorff.
Witmer played volleyball and soccer for the Gobblers and boosted a 3.902 GPA while Haskins was a three-sport standout with the Knights (football, wrestling baseball) and had a GPA of 4.229.
Stapleton was a member of the volleyball and soccer teams at EMHS and has a GPA of 4.52, Orndorff was a state champion in the shot put at East Rock with a GPA of 4.13 and Smith had a GPA of 3.99 while performing well in football and track for the Blue Streaks.
Spotswood did not have an award winner this year.