CUMBERLAND — Georgetown University linebacker Dustin Wharton, 2010 graduate of Allegany High School, is the man of the hour this evening as the Dapper Dan Club of Allegany County will honor him with its highest accolade, the George W. Stevenson/Nicholas A. Perlozzo Memorial Award at the 66th Dapper Dan Awards Banquet, 4 p.m., at the Ali Ghan Shrine Club.
Since 1952 when one of the greatest football players in the history of Cumberland, the late John Alderton of Fort Hill High School and the University of Maryland, was so feted for the first of two consecutive times, the Dapper Dan’s top award has been presented annually to the person who brings the most national recognition to the Cumberland area through athletics. In Wharton, the Dapper Dan Club will recognize the accomplishments of the 2009 Cumberland Area High School Football Player of the Year while at Allegany, who went on to Georgetown to earn first-team All-Patriot League linebacker honors his junior and senior seasons, and who was voted the conference’s 2013 preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Wharton will be joined on the dais by a score of area athletes who will be honored for their 2013 accomplishments, as well as Chicago White Sox pitching coach and former Dapper Dan top-award winner J.R. Perdew, major league pitcher Aaron Laffey, three-time recipient of the top award, former Allegany College of Maryland baseball player Jon Kemmer, now an outfielder in the Houston Astros organization, and Jennifer Yarnall Hamilton, a five-time track and field All-American at Frostburg State University.
Proceeds from the Dapper Dan dinner benefit The Children’s League, to which a check presentation will be made by the Dapper Dan.
Paul Mullan of WCBC Radio and the Voice of the Dapper Dans, will serve as the evening’s toastmaster, and will make a presentation to Matthew Marsh, the Dapper Dan’s 2014 Child of the Year.
The Shrine Club doors will open at 3 p.m., dinner will be served at 4 p.m., while the awards program will get under way at 5 p.m. According to the Dapper Dan Club, the event is sold out.
The program will include the presentation of six other Dapper Dan memorial awards, 2013 coaches and players of the year awards from various scholastic sports, and recognition awards to five Maryland scholastic state-champion athletes as well as four Maryland state championship teams. The Dapper Dan Little League major league champion Dodgers will be recognized as well.
The Dapper Dan’s highest civic service recognition, the Henrietta Schwarzenbach Memorial Award, will be presented to Kellie and Matthew Allaway.
Dick Sterne, longtime awards banquet chairman and nine-time club president, will be the recipient of the Earl Nonnenmann Memorial Award, a Dapper Dan “Lifetime Achievement” Award. Sterne first became involved with the Dapper Dan in 1975 as a little league baseball coach and, since then, has served the club in virtually every capacity.
John Schadt, of Boy Scout Troop 89, which works with special needs children and young adults, will be honored with the Howard L. Northcraft Memorial Unsung Hero Award. Mike Barnhart, manager of the little league baseball Dodgers, will be the recipient of the Christ G. Charuhas Memorial Award as the Dapper Dan Manager of the Year for the second year in a row.
Shawn Jones, a senior at Mountain Ridge High School, will receive the Joseph K. Mooney Most Courageous Memorial Award, while Jake Reynolds, the Special Olympics downhill skier gold medalist, will be recognized with the Chet Payne Special Recognition Memorial Award.
Ronald Cage of basketball and Terry Lippold of baseball will be honored posthumously with the Charles “Chick” Snider Memorial Award for officiating.
Receiving recognition awards this evening will be Mountain Ridge High School’s Brandon Redmond, the Maryland 1A track and field 800 meter state champion, as well as the Mountain Ridge girls 4 x 800 state-championship relay team of Madison Offstein, Casey Felker, Aleks Knepper and Erica Wilson.
The four state championship teams are Calvary Christian Academy volleyball, Maryland Christian Schools, Coach John Wall; Fort Hill football, Maryland 1A, Coach Todd Appel; Fort Hill volleyball, Maryland 1A, Coach Joe Brewer; and Mountain Ridge softball, Maryland 1A, Coach Martha Mauzy
A complete list of tonight’s award winners as well as previous Dapper Dan top-award winners can be found in today’s Scoreboard section.
Mike Burke is sports editor of the Cumberland Times-News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org