The Times West Virginian

Sports

August 22, 2013

FURFARI COLUMN- Was Loring last local QB at WVU?

MORGANTOWN — It’s probably pleasing, if not also exciting, that Morgantown native Clint Trickett is on West Virginia University’s 2013 football team.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound transfer from Florida State may succeed record-setting Geno Smith as the school’s starting quarterback this season.

He’s battling junior Paul Millard and redshirt freshman Ford Childress for the job.

Trickett, who joined the team in May, has a degree from FSU, but is eligible for two more years of football competition.

Trickett attended Morgantown High as a freshman. His arrival as a recruited quarterback on scholarship raised a trivia question. That is, who was the last home-grown QB from either MHS or University High to be a starter for West Virginia?

Well, I’ve done some researching in the matter, and available listings indicate that the answer is Richard “Dick” Loring, a UHS graduate way back there in the late 1940s.

He’s listed in the WVU football media guide as having lettered as a local quarterback. He earned letters in 1949-50.

While born in Morgantown, Loring moved with his family to suburban Cassville at age 3, graduated from University High where he started as a QB, then moved to Westover after getting married.

Then he was signed to become a Mountaineer in 1947. That was Bill Kerr’s last year as head coach.

Loring, now 83 and living in New Jersey, spent 36 years as a football coach and history teacher at Moorestown (N.J.) High School. Six of those years were as the head coach.

Loring has been retired from coaching since 1983.

Before settling in New Jersey, he served one year as head football coach and teacher at Bridgeport High School. He succeeded John Murphy, a former Mountaineer halfback who left to join the FBI staff.

Loring, who retired as a teacher in 1991, graduated from WVU in 1953. He earned letters in 1949-50 after playing three years in varsity action — one for Dudley DeGroat and two for Art “Pappy” Lewis.

“I’ve traveled a great deal since I retired, and I still play golf twice a week,” Loring said. “But I find it harder to keep my score in the 80s like I used to do.”

Dick and wife Velma, who were high school sweethearts, had been married 39 years when she died in 1990.

They had three children: Cindy May, 56, Cathy Manning, 53, and Richard Jr., 44.

“We had two undefeated seasons at UHS, and Homer Fizer was the head coach,” Loring remembered. “We didn’t lose a game in my junior and senior years (1946-47).”

Loring, who lettered as a Mountaineer in 1949-50, broke his leg as a junior, and did not earn a letter as a senior in 1951. He explained, “I broke my leg in the third game of my junior season against George Washington there.”

And that ended Dick Loring’s career as starting quarterback.

“I’m pretty sure that I was the last quarterback from Morgantown or University High to letter at WVU,” Loring commented.

“That’s certainly a long time ago, more than 60 years. I may be the school’s oldest living quarterback.”

Why did he settle in New Jersey? Loring replied, “Economics! I got a heck of a lot more money.”

One of his biggest thrills was being recognized at the recent induction of one of his former high school protégés being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

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