PARKERSBURG - Former West Virginia University quarterback Pat White, the only quarterback in the history of college football to start and win four bowl games, will serve as the speaker for this year's Purple Banquet during the Mid-Ohio Valley Golf Classic, set for May 19 and 20 at Woodridge Golf Club.
The announcement was made by Steve Hussey, chairman of the MOV Golf Classic, along with Dale Richardson of the Erickson All-Sports Facility and Earl Johnson of the Stadium Field Improvement Committee.
Last year, the initial golf tournament and Purple Banquet raised $9,000 with the stadium committees each receiving $4,500. That event featured Jim Justice, owner of the Greenbrier Resort, as its guest speaker.
Former West Virginia University quarterback Pat White will be the guest speaker at the Purple Banquet on May 19 and 20 at Woodridge Golf Club. White will be playing in the Mid-Ohio Valley Golf Classic.
Organizers learned a lot from their initial effort a year ago and have made several changes they believe will increase participation and proceeds, the latter of which are split between the two stadium committees.
Instead of playing on Friday and Saturday as took place last year, this will be a weekend event, with golf on Saturday and Sunday. Also, the event will be conducted entirely at Woodridge Golf Club rather than taking place on two different courses. The entry fee has been lowered to $100 and not only will include a singles competition but also a two-man best ball division.
"We are really excited to bring Pat White to town,'' said Hussey. After tournament organizers unsuccessfully made several attempts to contact White, Jim Hamric, one of the Woodridge owners, sent White a text message, to which he responded almost immediately.
White not only agreed to serve as the guest speaker for Sunday's Purple Banquet, but he also will participate in the golf event both days.
Organizers chose the name Purple Banquet for their dinner to emphasize this is a combined effort of Parkersburg High School, whose primary color is red, and Parkersburg South High School, whose is known for its blue.
PHS, which recently installed handrails at Stadium Field, will use its funds from the upcoming event to continue to make Stadium Field compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. The Erickson board will put its proceeds in its turf fund. It has been raising money with the hopes of installing an artificial playing surface at the stadium.
White is the only three-time winner of the West Virginia Amateur Athlete of the Year Award, presented by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
He was named Mr. Football in the state of Alabama following his senior season at Daphne High School, where he also was a two-time Class 6A all-state baseball player.
He passed up a Major League Baseball career and a six-figure salary with the Anaheim Angels to play college football, signing with WVU because it offered him a chance to play quarterback.