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What started out as a class project for two (2) seniors ended up being a community event to celebrate the life of Zack Hardman. The tournament was originally created by Nathan Fubio and Ben Linger as a community service event for their AP Government class that would benefit the Robert C. Byrd High School Boosters. After hearing of the passing of their good friend Zack Hardman, they ultimately changed the meaning of the tournament to raise money for the Zack Hardman Memorial Foundation, which then awards RCB seniors with $1,000 scholarships. Zack had a love and passion for soccer that made him known throughout the State, so it was only fitting that it be a soccer tournament held in his honor.
The second annual Hardman Classic was held Sunday, May 19, 2019 at Robert C. Byrd High School Stadium. The overwhelming response from the community is what led to the Hardman Classic becoming an annual event. Eleven (11) teams participated in this year’s second annual classic; bringing people from all over West Virginia to Robert C. Byrd High School. Teams from Philippi, Glenville, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, and South Harrison were participants in Sunday’s Hardman Classic where the Avengers AC of Harrison County brought home the trophy.
“So many people have come out to play and donate to the Zack Hardman Memorial Foundation. I think it’s a good message that shows how well known and liked Zack was by many and that everyone is willing to come together in remembrance of him”, said Fubio. He was a friend to so many and it’s a great way to remember him, by playing soccer”, he continued.
Because of the efforts to celebrate Zack’s memory by two (2) RCB students, two (2) 2019 graduates of Robert C. Byrd High School, Eli Williams and Tiara Snyder were awarded $1,000 scholarships in his honor.
“Zack always said “turn your dreams into goals, no matter what it takes”, and that is what I live by”, said Tiara Snyder. “Zack loved soccer and it’s a great way to get everyone together. People have come from all over to celebrate his life and that’s exactly what he’d want instead of us all grieving”, she continued.