Home|News & Media|Articles

Articles

Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association Announces 2017 Award Winners

April 17, 2018
 
News Release – Ohio High School Athletic Association
Executive Director Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D.
 
 
For Immediate Release – April 17, 2018
Contact – Tim Stried, OHSAA Director of Communications, tstried@ohsaa.org
 
Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association Announces 2017 Award Winners
Jon Spencer, Mark Hazelwood, Rob McCurdy and Todd Stumpf earn Sportswriter of the Year awards
 
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association held its annual state meeting Tuesday at the OHSAA office, which included a Q&A session with OHSAA Executive Director Dr. Dan Ross. OPSWA members in attendance also discussed several topics and announced the 2017 writing and photography contest award winners (see below).
 
Earning “Sportswriter of the Year” honors in their respective divisions were Jon Spencer from the Mansfield News Journal (Div. 1), Mark Hazelwood from the Sandusky Register (Div. 2), Rob McCurdy from the Marion Star (Div. 3) and Todd Stumpf from the Medina Post (Div. 4). The contest, which received 522 entries from 58 contestants, consisted of articles and photos from the 2017 calendar year.
 
The OPSWA membership roster now stands at 171 writers and photographers around the state, which marks the most in its 45-year history. OPSWA members serve as judges in the contest.
 
Founded in 1972, the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association works to support and enhance the coverage of high school sports in Ohio and to recognize superior writing among sports journalists. In 2010, the OPSWA partnered with the Ohio High School Athletic Association to create a website, establish electronic communications and increase its membership and recognition.
 
The OPSWA website is located at http://www.ohsaa.org/news/OPSWA and includes the membership directory, officers information, hall of fame inductees and other updates.
 
Certificates were handed out to contest placers, while the Writers of the Year each received an inscribed plaque with pen. The contest was judged by 38 OPSWA members from around the state.
 
 
2017 OPSWA SPORTSWRITERS OF THE YEAR
DIVISION 1 – Jon Spencer, Mansfield News Journal
DIVISION 2 – Mark Hazelwood, Sandusky Register
DIVISION 3 – Rob McCurdy, Marion Star
DIVISION 4 – Todd Stumpf, Medina Post
 
2017 OPSWA Writing Contest, Division and Category Results
The four divisions were based on circulation size.
Point Totals for Writer of the Year: 1st Place = 6 points, 2nd = 4 points, 3rd = 3 points, 4th = 2 points, 5th = 1 point. Categories receiving less than 20 entries awarded three places, categories receiving 20-39 entries awarded four places and categories receiving 40 or more entries were awarded five places.
 
Division 1
Division 1, Investigative/Enterprise (9 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. Is Lacrosse Hurting Track? - Joe Scalzo, Canton Repository
2. Rosters Don’t Always Measure Up - Joe Scalzo, Canton Repository
3. Area Schools Offer Perspective on Competitive Balance - Mike Dyer, WCPO.com
 
Division 1, News (19 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. Beard Tapped for Greater Cleveland Induction - Chris Lillstrung, Willoughby News Herald
2. Wesson’s Dedication to Improve Reaps Reward - Steve Blackledge, Columbus Dispatch
Tie-3. Ohio State Offers Lexington’s Stover - Curt Conrad, Richland Source
Tie-3. Dwindling Officials a Growing Concern - Steve Blackledge, Columbus Dispatch
 
Division 1, Feature (25 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. Lexington Star Dedicates Success to Late Father - Jon Spencer, Mansfield News Journal
2. Lexington Cross Country Coach Uses Experience as Inspiration - Curt Conrad, Richland Source
3. Kirtland’s Aquila:  “Mom Has the Best Seat in the House.” - John Kampf, Willoughby News Herald
4. Perry Lineman Wants State Title for Cancer-Stricken Father - John Kampf, Willoughby News Herald
 
Division 1, Column (17 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. Coaching in the Hall - Jon Spencer, Mansfield News Journal
Tie-2. One-of-a-kind Bob Games Will Go On, But Twinkle Is Gone - Jon Spencer, Mansfield News Journal
Tie-2. With Game On the Line, Polar Bears Deliver a State Title - Joe Scalzo, Canton Repository
 
Division 1, Game Story (22 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. Wade E. Miller Gymnasium’s Final Game Celebrates History - Mike Dyer, WCPO.com
2. Chardon Player with Cerebral Palsy Scores a Touchdown - John Kampf, Willoughby News Herald
3. Blue Smith’s Late Hail Mary Reception Lifts Wayne Past - Eric Frantz, Dayton Daily News
Tie-4. New King of the Gene Pool - Jon Spencer, Mansfield News Journal
Tie-4. Determined South Wins First City Title Since ’80 - Steve Blackledge, Columbus Dispatch
 
Division 1 Writer of the Year – Jon Spencer, Mansfield News Journal (Fourth award all-time)
     (Two first place finishes, one second place finish and one fourth place finish)
 
Jon Spencer, Mansfield News Journal – 16.5
Joe Scalzo, Canton Repository – 13.5
John Kampf, Willoughby News Herald – 9
Mike Dyer, WCPO.com – 9
 
 
 
 
Division 2
Division 2, Investigative/Enterprise (6 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. Soul Searching:  High School Wrestling at a Crossroads - Mark Hazelwood, Sandusky Register
2. An Appeal to Play: Hamilton’s Thomas Gets to Chase Dreams - Rick Cassano, Hamilton Journal News
3. Competitive Balance is at Least a Start - Jamie Baker, Findlay Courier
 
Division 2, Investigative/Enterprise (25 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. ‘Zar’ of the Mat Officials to Retire After State Tourney - Aaron Dorksen, Wooster Daily Record
2. Vlasi Pappas’ Catch Goes Viral, is No. 1 on “SportsCenter” - Jon Behm, Lorain Morning Journal
3. OHSAA Changes Playoffs to Friday Nights, Coaches Agree - Jon Behm, Lorain Morning Journal
4. Don Simpson Named New Varsity Coach at Middletown - Rick Cassano, Hamilton Journal News
 
 
 
 
Division 2, Feature (25 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. Remembering Badin’s 28-0 Boy’s Basketball Season of 1987-88 - Rick Cassano, Hamilton Journal News
2. Edlewood’s Pletz Kicks His Way to Football, Soccer Success - Rick Cassano, Hamilton Journal News
Tie-3. Humbling Career - Mark Hazelwood, Sandusky Register
Tie-3. A Very Tall Tale for 6-foot-10 Rittman Football Player - Aaron Dorksen, Wooster Daily Record
 
Division 2, Column (13 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. Keep Playing - Mark Hazelwood, Sandusky Register
2. Friend To All - Mark Hazelwood, Sandusky Register
Tie-3. Practice Makes Fun - Mark Hazelwood, Sandusky Register
Tie-3. Spragg Was All About Promoting Golf - Dave Hanneman, Findlay Courier
 
Division 2, Game Story (34 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. Final Shot Won’t Fall for L-B - Scott Cottos, Findlay Courier
2. O-G’s Beemer Falls in Battle of Unbeatens - Jamie Baker, Findlay Courier
3. Still Perfect - Mark Hazelwood, Sandusky Register
4. Elyria’s Stunning Finish Leaves Lebanon Without a State Title - Rick Cassano, Hamilton Journal News
 
Division 2 Writer of the Year- Mark Hazelwood, Sandusky Register        (Fourth award all-time)
     (Two first place finishes, one second place finish and three third place finish)
 
Mark Hazelwood, Sandusky Register – 23
Rick Cassano, Hamilton Journal News - 18
Aaron Dorksen, Wooster Daily Record – 8.5
John Behm, Lorain Morning Journal – 7
Jamie Baker, Findlay Courier – 7
 
 
Division 3
Division 3, Investigative/Enterprise (20 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. Off-Season Workouts Can Push Athletes to Limit - Kurt Snyder, Newark Advocate
Tie-2. The Dynasty – Four Decades of Titles - Mark Hazelwood, Norwalk Reflector
Tie-2. Wrestling With Diabetes - Rob McCurdy, Marion Star
4. Never Been Better? - Mark Hazelwood, Norwalk Reflector
 
Division 3, News (41 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
Tie-1. Whit Parks Resigns From Fort Loramie - Bryant Billing, Sidney Daily News                                                                                        
Tie-2. Unioto Head Coach Out After 14 Seasons - Derrick Webb, Chillicothe Gazette
Tie-3. Granville’s Wait Steps Down Over Health Concerns - Dave Weidig, Newark Advocate
Tie-3. It’s Back – Norwalk Pole Vault Returns to Glory - Jake Furr, Norwalk Reflector
Tie-3. Fostoria Honors Its Champs - Scott Cottos, Fostoria Review Times
Tie-3. Clash With Watkins AD Led to Track Coaches’ Exit - Kurt Snyder, Newark Advocate
Tie-3. Ridgedale Going Forward as Independent - Rob McCurdy, Marion Star
 
Division 3, Feature (51 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
Tie-1. Ponchel Overcomes Obstacles to Reach Milestone - Jake Furr, Norwalk Reflector
Tie-1. Coach Has New Kidney, Outlook - Derrick Webb, Chillicothe Gazette
Tie-1. Relentless Raven - Rob McCurdy, Marion Star
Tie-4. 4 for 4: Molnar a Rarity in High School Sports - Jake Furr, Norwalk Reflector
Tie-4. Wagner Leading On, Off Court - Scott Halasz, Xenia Daily Gazette
 
Division 3, Column (32 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. It’s About More Than Numbers For Coach - Dave Weidig, Newark Advocate
2. Ridgedale Did Right Thing For Football - Rob McCurdy, Marion Star
3. Newark Girls Carve Out Place Among State Elite - Kurt Snyder, Newark Advocate
4. Robert Wright’s Impact Still Felt - Tom Nader, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier
 
Division 3, Game Story (60 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. Ostheimer Leaves It All on the Track and Then Some - Jake Furr, Norwalk Register
Tie-2. Goose Gets Loose - Albert Grindle, Medina Gazette
Tie-2. Panthers Advance on Miracle Finish - Derrick Webb, Chillicothe Gazette
Tie-2. Big Drama in Districts - Rob McCurdy, Marion Star
Tie-5. Stuff Legends Are Made Of - Albert Grindle, Medina Gazette
Tie-5. Down to the Wire - Aaron Gross, Defiance Crescent-News
Tie-5. Two Walk-Off Wins in One - Rick Noland, Medina Gazette
 
Division 3 Writer of the Year – Rob McCurdy, Marion Star (Second Consecutive Year)
   (Four first place finishes and one third place finish)
 
Rob McCurdy, Marion Star – 16.03
Jake Furr, Norwalk Reflector – 13.03
Derrick Webb, Chillicothe Gazette – 12.33
Kurt Snyder, Newark Advocate – 10.2
Dave Weidig, Newark Advocate – 7.2
 
 
Division 4
Division 4, Investigative/Enterprise (7 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. Beating Cancer, Winning at Life - Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers
2. Pitching Rules Met With Trepidation - Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers
Tie-3. Soccer: Crew Move Could Have Ripple Effect - Jarrod Ulrey, This Week Community Newspapers
Tie-3. Boy’s Volleyball: Sport Aiming to Gain Inclusion from OHSAA - Jarrod Ulrey, This Week Community Newspapers
 
Division 4, News (7 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. Humble Beginnings; Humbler Endings/Wadsworth’s Baughman - Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers
Tie-2. Colts Limas Sets County Record - Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers
Tie-2. Reds Select Orange’s Tyler Brown - Scott Hennen, This Week Newspapers
4. Collins Dismissed as Boys Coach - Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers
 
Division 4, Feature (29 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. Girls Golf Team’s Grace Overcomes Health Hurdle - Jarrod Ulrey, This Week Community Newspapers
2. Baseball: ‘Frenchy’ Loves Pitching In - Frank DiRenna, This Week Newspapers
3. ‘Supergirl’ Fights Back Against Cancer - Frank DiRenna, This Week Newspapers
4. The Architect - Jarrod Ulrey, This Week Newspapers
 
Division 4, Column (8 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. Super Teams Super Ticked About Tourney - Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers
2. Panther Girls Worth a Look - Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers
Tie-3. Richards Concerned About Scoreboard, Not Book - Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers
Tie-3. Possible Shakeup Looming for OCC - Scott Hennen, This Week Newspapers
Tie-3. Commentary: Foundation for Tigers Title Run Built Long Ago - Jarrod Ulrey, Pickerington Times-Sun
 
Division 4, Game Story (27 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. The Sweet Taste of State - Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers
2. Brunswick Girls, Tough as Nails - Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers
3. Orange Wins District Baseball Title - Scott Hennen, This Week Newspapers
4. DiSabato Edged in State Wrestling Final - Frank DiRenna, This Week Newspapers
 
Division 4 Writer of the Year- Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers (Fourth Year in a Row and sixth win in eight years of contest)
    (Four first place finishes, four second place finishes, one third place finish and one fourth place finish)
 
Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers – 42.5
Jarrod Ulrey, This Week Community Newspapers – 14
Frank DiRenna, This Week Community Newspapers – 9
Scott Hennen, This Week Community Newspapers – 6.5
 
 
2017 OPSWA Photography Contest (Judging Completed April 2018)
Results Announced April 17, 2018
 
Category – Game Action (36 entries)
Place, Title, Photographer
1. Wild Ride to the Championships, Jilly Burns, Sandusky Register
2. Unexpected Defeat, Erin McLaughlin, Sandusky Register
3. Take a Seat, Jay Gehres, London Madison Press
4. Keep Your Head in the Game, Richard Russell, Norwalk Reflector
5. In the Spotlight, Jilly Burns, Sandusky Register
 
Category – Portrait (9 entries)
Place, Title, Photographer
1. Ready to Rock, Jessica Grimm, Chillicothe Gazette
2. Football Starters, Jilly Burns, Sandusky Register
3. Eyeing Greater Success, Jon Behm, Lorain Morning Journal
 
 
 
Tim Stried
Director of Communications
Ohio High School Athletic Association
614-267-2502, ext. 124  office
614-267-1677  fax
4080 Roselea Place
Columbus, OH 43214