James Neton: Dude Dent awards — a symbol of pride in our community | CraigDailyPress.com

James Neton: Dude Dent awards — a symbol of pride in our community

On April 23, Moffat County High School will host the Lewis "Dude" Dent Memorial Award Selection Dinner for the outstanding senior male and female athlete of MCHS for 2014. The event will highlight the academic and athletic achievements of the best male and female student athletes Moffat County has to offer. Many of us are aware of the achievements and heroic nature of Dent's life. However, others in the community may have no idea why one of MCHS's most prestigious student awards is named after Dent.

When I first came to Moffat County 16 years ago, I learned about Lewis "Dude" Dent at spring athletic presentations. I noticed his plaque in the MCHS hall of fame, and I was fascinated by his athletic feats and his untimely, yet heroic, death in World War II. Throughout the years, his name always has floated around the halls of MCHS, yet alI I really knew about Dent were the short staccato statements on a plaque in a glass-encased trophy case.

Recently, with the help of Dan Davidson at the Museum of Northwest Colorado, I've been able to learn more about one of our local heroes and his remarkable achievements in a very short life. Dent moved to Craig with his family as a young boy. He came of age in Craig and graduated from Craig High School in 1939. Along the way, he earned many accolades as a high school athlete and maintained a sterling academic record. He attended Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University), lettered in multiple sports, earned many athletic honors and majored in the demanding field of mechanical engineering.

Just four credits short of earning his degree, he was drafted into service during World War II. He served on the western front in France and was killed in action, for which he earned the Silver Star.

At this year's Lewis "Dude" Dent Memorial Award Selection Dinner, we will highlight and celebrate the achievements of our current senior nominees in relation to the meaningful ideals Dent's life represents to our young men and women. The banquet will include a keynote address by incoming Moffat County School District superintendent Brent Curtice along with a rekindling of the fascinating and inspiring life of Lewis "Dude" Dent.

Please join us for this celebration that will combine history and a wonderful MCHS tradition all while looking toward the bright future of the young adults in our community. It promises to be a great evening of food, camaraderie and all that is good in Northwest Colorado.

Recommended Stories For You

Tickets are $5 and are available from the MCHS track team. Contact coaches Todd Trapp at 605-484-8635 or todd.trapp@moffatsd.org or Lance Scranton at 970-620-5998 or lance.scranton@moffatsd.org for more information about purchasing tickets.