By Brad Morris
Sometimes awards fall by the wayside and make a comeback.
And that’s the case for The Don Rowland Award.
The award was originally established by an independent committee and was presented annually from between 2000-2013 to the most outstanding senior baseball player in Pickaway County.
Alek Stonerock was the last winner of the traveling award in 2013, which had since resided in the trophy case of Westfall High School.
For whatever reason, the award had not been presented since then by the committee.
Former Westfall athletic director and long-time baseball coach Trevor Thomas asked me about the award a few years later, but it wasn’t our award to present.
Soon thereafter, it was forgotten about.
With the award still residing in the trophy case after the 2021-22 school year, Thomas asked if John Howley and I wanted to take over the award. If not, it would likely be evicted from the trophy case during renovations to the school since it wasn’t one of the school’s awards.
We were happy to take over the award and re-establish its tradition on Wednesday when Teays Valley’s Matt Farmer became the first recipient of The Don Rowland Award in a decade.
The Rowland Award re-joins The Bill McGaffney Award (football, established 1985), the Bob Bowsher Memorial Trophy (boys basketball, established 1948), The Jeff Sheets Award (girls basketball, established in 1982 and renamed in 2021), the Peter Jonathan Pharr Memorial Award (wrestling, established 1983) and the recently established Dave Truex Award (softball) to honor outstanding county athletes.
By rule, seniors only can win those awards with the exception of the Pharr Memorial Award, which was originally established by an independent committee who selected the winner. The Pharr Award committee asked us to take over that award several years ago.
Past Don Rowland Award winners include:
2000 — Chris Robinson (Circleville), 2001 — Steve Overholser (Teays Valley), 2002 — Trey Fausnaugh (Westfall), 2003 — Daniel Utts (Circleville), 2004 — Mike Scherer (Circlevile), 2005 — Lee Fausnaugh (Westfall), 2006 — Joe Morris (Westfall), 2007 — Greg Mullens (Teays Valley), 2008 — Andrew Cox (Teays Valley), 2009 — Jake Vinkovich (Circleville), 2010 — Eddie Strawser (Circleville), 2011 — Zach Wolfe (Westfall), 2012 — Anthony Vagnier (Logan Elm), 2013 — Alek Stonerock (Westfall), 2014-22 — No winner selected, 2023 — Matt Farmer (Teays Valley)