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Former WVU football players help out with GMH fundraiser

December 10, 2010
The Inter-Mountain

Former West Virginia University football players Reed Williams and Zach Abraham, have autographed two football pocketbooks to benefit the Grant Memorial Hospital Auxiliary through a drawing that will be take place Dec. 23 at the GMH Gift Shop.

Williams, a native of Moorefield and a graduate of Moorefield High School, played WVU football from 2005-2009 as a linebacker. While at MHS he was captain of the all-state defense, defensive player of the year, helped the Yellowjackets win state titles in 2001 and 2003, a runner-up in 2002 and in the state finals in 2004. He was an all-area and all-Potomac Valley player. He was also outstanding in basketball and baseball. Scholastically he was a National Science winner, on the MHS student council and the National Honor Society and was class valedictorian.

After high school, Williams attended West Virginia University where he received much recognition for his football talents as well as his academic achievements. One quote said of Reed, "he was tough, a physical linebacker who is very smart ... was selected an "Iron Mountaineer" by his teammates because of his hard work and dedication during the offseason." In 2007, he was first team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American, Athletic Director's Academic Honor Roll, Dean's List, BIG EAST Academic All-Star and was part of the 2006 Sugar Bowl Team, played in the 2007 Gator Bowl, the 2008 Fiesta Bowl and the 2008 Car Care game.

Another quote is "There are definitely two sides to Reed Williams. For example, he is a Big East Academic All-Star, but he was also the 2008 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Defensive Player of the Game in what is considered the greatest bowl victory - and arguably the greatest victory - in WVU football history."

Not long before his 2009 trip to New York City, Williams had a cumulative grade point average of 3.86 and was named a 2009 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American second-team selection. This honor marked the second time he had been honored by inclusion on the team, as he was a first team selection in 2007.

That New York trip did not require him to wear his football uniform, instead, he sported a tuxedo for a black-tie event at the historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, where he was one of 16 finalists for the 2009 William V. Campbell Trophy for a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Class Award.

At this event, he was one of the top football players in all of college football, all divisions at all levels, to be recognized for his academic achievements. Williams was awarded a scholarship that will be used to fund a graduate degree, a degree that would represent an extension of the two degrees he has already earned. In 2008, he received a B&E degree in finance and in 2009 a degree in marketing. He plans to continue working towards his MBA.

Abraham was a Wheeling Park High School graduate, who played as a wide receiver on the WVU football teams from 1991-1994. On the ESPN website there is a paragraph about the 1994 Pitt game at Pitt Stadium where WVU had the lead in the second quarter, 31-6. But things started to fall apart as Pitt fought its way to a 41-40 lead with 1:30 to go in the game. WVU quarterback Chad Johnston threw to the walk-on Abraham to win the game with a 47-41 victory. Then-Mountaineer coach Don Nehlen is quoted as saying "I think both teams set defensive football back 50 years."

Abraham graduated from WVU in 1994 with a BSLA in landscape architecture and in 1996 with a MSILR in industrial and labor relations/human resources. His hometown is Triadelphia. Presently he is the director of Operations/Human Resources at McKinley Carter Wealth Services Inc. in Wheeling. For additional information about Abraham and Williams, go to the ESPN or WVU sports websites.

The autographed football pocketbooks' drawing will be in the GMH front lobby at 2 p.m. on Dec. 23. Call Josie Goldizen at 304-257-1026 to participate in or for additional information about this auxiliary project.



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