Finalists announced for Bill Fralic Memorial Award

Thursday, November 12, 2020 | 5:21 PM

Six finalists, one from each classification, have been selected for the second Bill Fralic Memorial Award, which honors the best senior football lineman in the WPIAL.

They are:

6A: Dorien Ford, Baldwin

5A: Miguel Jackson, Pine-Richland

4A: Colin Lyons, McKeesport

3A: Eli Podgorski, South Park

2A: Mitch Miles, Laurel

A: Aaron Gunn, Union

Named in honor of the late Fralic, a former Penn Hills star who many consider one of the most dominating linemen to play in the WPIAL, the award will be given to one of the finalists during a private banquet Dec. 5 at Longue Vue Club in Verona.

Ford (6-foot-4, 300 pounds) is a Pitt recruit, Gunn (6-4, 285) will play at Louisville, and Jackson (6-2, 265), Pine-Richland’s all-time sacks leader, is headed to Liberty.

Fralic, a larger-than-life figure known for making the “pancake” block a thing at Pitt, went from All-American to All-Pro, becoming a star at Pitt before embarking on an eight-year career in the NFL, primarily with the Atlanta Falcons.

The selection committee chose the six players from a list of nominees, which was shorter than last year’s list after an unusual regular season distorted by the coronavirus pandemic. The winner receives a small sculpture of Fralic.

“The whole idea of this is to keep Bill’s memory alive,” said Dan Miller, a member of the William P. Fralic Foundation’s board of trustees and a former classmate of Fralic’s at Penn Hills. “He was a legend, and we need to remember how great he was and the impact he had on so many people.”

Logan Danielson of Thomas Jefferson was the inaugural winner and was recognized at a banquet at Oakmont Country Club.

At this year’s event, which will again include a pancake breakfast, former Pitt and NFL lineman Greg Meisner will be the guest speaker.

Pittsburgh-based speed painter Cody Sabol, a Norwin graduate, will return to craft another portrait of Fralic, who died of cancer on Dec. 13, 2018.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at or via Twitter .

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