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2018-19 OHSAA News

Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association Announces 2018 Award Winners

April 25, 2019
 
News Release – Ohio High School Athletic Association
Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass
 
 
For Immediate Release – April 25, 2019
Contact – Tim Stried, OHSAA Director of Communications, tstried@ohsaa.org
 
Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association Announces 2018 Award Winners
Jon Spencer, Rick Cassano, Rob McCurdy and Todd Stumpf earn Sportswriter of the Year awards
 
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association held its annual statewide member meeting Thursday at the OHSAA office. The results of the 2018 writing and photography contest were announced (see below) and the attendees discussed several topics.
 
Earning “Sportswriter of the Year” honors in their respective divisions were Jon Spencer from the Mansfield News Journal (Div. 1), Rick Cassano from Cox Media Group Ohio (Div. 2), Rob McCurdy from the Marion Star (Div. 3) and Todd Stumpf from the Medina Post (Div. 4). The contest, which received 472 entries from 51 contestants, consisted of articles and photos from the 2018 calendar year.
 
The OPSWA membership roster now stands at 180 writers and photographers around the state, which marks the most in its 47-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 35 OPSWA members from around the state.
 
 
2018 OPSWA SPORTSWRITERS OF THE YEAR
DIVISION 1 – Jon Spencer, Mansfield News Journal
DIVISION 2 – Rick Cassano, Cox Media Group Ohio (Southwest Ohio)
DIVISION 3 – Rob McCurdy, Marion Star
DIVISION 4 – Todd Stumpf, Medina Post
 
 
2018 OPSWA Writing Contest, Division and Category Results
Four divisions 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 (12 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
1. Head Trauma: Area Football Teams Work to Lessen the Impact - Noah Jones, Richland Source
2. Mansfield News Journal Student-Athletes of the Year - Jon Spencer, Mansfield News Journal
Tie-3. The Grind: Coaches Have Mixed Feelings About 22-Game Season - Jake Furr, Mansfield News Journal
Tie-3. A Staab Story Series - Jake Furr, Mansfield News Journal
Tie-3. 30 Years of Threes - Steve Blackledge, Columbus Dispatch
 
Division 1, News (22 entries)
1. Africentric’s Horston Commits to Tennessee - Steve Blackledge, Columbus Dispatch
2. I’m Staying Home - Jon Spencer, Mansfield News Journal
3. Ross to Step Down as Head of OHSAA - Steve Blackledge, Columbus Dispatch
4. City asks Mentor High School Hockey Team to Vacate Locker Room - Chris Lillstrung, Willoughby News-Herald
 
Division 1, Feature (33 entries)
1. Nobody Focuses on Tennis Like the Websters - Jon Spencer, Mansfield News Journal
2. Moeller’s Doug Rosfeld Aspires to be the Best Husband, Father and Football Coach - Mike Dyer, WCPO.com
3. Picktown Pipeline - Steve Blackledge, Columbus Dispatch
4. A New Definition of Tough - Jeff Gilbert, Dayton Daily News
 
Division 1, Column (16 entries)
1. Remembering Mayfield Swimmer Stevie Grieshammer - Chris Lillstrung, Willoughby News Herald
2. Richmond Heights Situation Raises Questions - John Kampf, Willoughby News Herald
Tie-3. Election Season: Lexington’s Stove a Candidate for Mr. Football - Curt Conrad, Richland Source
Tie-3. Even Amid Dark Times, Never Let Perspective Get Lost - Chris Lillstrung, Willoughby News Herald
 
Division 1, Game Story (30 entries)
1. Mentally Tough Whippets Turn Back Challengers - Jon Spencer, Mansfield News Journal
2. Minster Adds More Title Hardware - Jim Naveau, Lima News
Tie-3.  (Civic) Center of Attention - Joe Scalzo, Canton Repository
Tie-3. Kirtland Nips Maria Stein Marion Local - Curt Conrad, Richland Source
 
Division 1 Writer of the Year – Jon Spencer, Mansfield News Journal (fifth award all-time)
     (Two first place finishes and two second place finishes)
 
Jon Spencer, Mansfield News Journal – 20 points
Steve Blackledge, Columbus Dispatch – 13
Chris Lillstrung, Willoughby News Herald – 9.5
 
 
Division 2
Division 2, Investigative/Enterprise (9 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
 
1. Competitive Balance: Badin Baseball Questions Fairness of Move to Division I - Rick Cassano, Cox Media Group Ohio
2. Bacon, Purcell Principals Explain Reasons for Applying to MVC - Rick Cassano, Cox Media Group Ohio
3. The Simplicity of a Question: How Tom Bolden Ended Up at Lakota West - Rick Cassano, Cox Media Group Ohio
 
Division 2, News (24 entries)
1. Licking Heights Coach: Kneeling Before Anthem Reaction to Build-Up - Kurt Snyder, Newark Advocate
Tie-2. Watkins Memorial Wrestles with Boyd’s Memory Fresh in Mind - Kurt Snyder, Newark Advocate
Tie-2. Madison Chooses to Forgo Legal Action after Regional Football Defeat - Rick Cassano, Cox Media Group Ohio
4. Snodgrass Named New Head of OHSAA - Dave Hanneman, Findlay Courier
 
Division 2, Feature (26 entries)
Tie-1. Madison’s Noah Lehman: A Football, A Bow and A Quest - Rick Cassano, Cox Media Group Ohio
Tie-1. A Lifelong Battle: Fenwick’s Swisher Using Soccer in her Fight - Rick Cassano, Cox Media Group Ohio
3. To Lead and Serve: Talawanda’s Brown Has a Passion - Rick Cassano, Cox Media Group Ohio
4. Stellar Career Comes to End - Dave Hanneman, Findlay Courier
 
Division 2, Column (11 entries)
1. P-G Seniors Left an Indelible Mark on the Program - Dave Hanneman, Findlay Courier
2. ’Mama’ Collins Dies at 67 - Mark Hazelwood, Sandusky Register
Tie-3. It’s Time for OHSAA to Explore a Football Alternative - John Behm, Lorain Morning Journal
Tie-3. Spring Sports Season is Broken and Needs to be Fixed - John Behm, Lorain Morning Journal
 
Division 2, Game Story (26 entries)
1. Braves Savor Hoosier Gym Experience… And Get a Win - Rick Cassano, Cox Media Group Ohio
Tie-2. Bay Comes Up an Inch Short in Regional Final - Jon Behm, Lorain Morning Journal
Tie-2. Ross Stuns Trojans - Dave Hanneman, Findlay Courier
Tie-4. Watkins Memorial Wrestlers Carry Boyd’s Spirit - Kurt Snyder, Newark Advocate
Tie-4. Porter’s Pick Lifts Bellaire Over Martins Ferry - Rick Thorp, Martins Ferry Times Leader
 
Division 2 Writer of the Year- Rick Cassano, Cox Media Group Ohio (Southwest Ohio) (First career award)
(Four first-place finishes, two second-place finish and two third-place finish)
 
Rick Cassano, Hamilton Journal News – 35.5 points
Dave Hanneman, Findlay Courier – 13.5
Kurt Snyder, Newark Advocate – 10.5
 
 
Division 3
Division 3, Investigative/Enterprise (8 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
 
1. The Chase to State Isn’t Easy for Area Swimmers - Mark Hazelwood, Norwalk Reflector
2. Year in Review - Rick Noland, Medina Gazette
3. SJCC Focuses on Keeping Pressure on the Defense - Matthew Horn, Fremont News Messenger
 
Division 3, News (27 entries)
Tie-1. Clocking Out - Mark Hazelwood, Norwalk Reflector
Tie-1. Kelly Strong - Rick Noland, Medina Gazette
Tie-3. NU’s Draper in Midst of Hall of Fame Career - Rob McCurdy, Marion Star
Tie-3. Mogadore Rebounds From Fire - Tom Nader, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier
Tie-3. Cash Felt Back Home at Indiana - Scott Halasz, Xenia Daily Gazette
Tie-3. Franklin-Monroe’s Conley Signs with Ashland - Skip Weaver, Greenville Daily Advocate
Tie-3. Fox to Coach Truckers - Mark Hazelwood, Norwalk Reflector
Tie-3. Millersport Forced to Cancel Football Season - Tom Wilson, Lancaster Eagle Gazette
 
Division 3 Feature (35 entries)
1. A Legendary Pleasant Year - Rob McCurdy, Marion Star
2. Two Sports, One Season: Her Choice - Rob McCurdy, Marion Star
Tie-3. After Trying Season, Lichtenbergers Enjoy Hug of Triumph - Rob McCurdy, Marion Star
Tie-3. He’s Just a Warrior - Zachary Holden, Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum
 
Division 3 Column (21 entries)
Tie-1. Best Achievement by Dan Ross – Restoring OHSAA’s Reputation - Rob McCurdy, Marion Star
Tie-1. Competitive Balance is Right Way to Go - Scott Halasz, Xenia Daily Gazette
3. Donated Trophy, Letter Defined Pugh - Mark Hazelwood, Norwalk Reflector
4. New OHSAA Transfer Laws a Band-Aid - Scott Halasz, Xenia Daily Gazette
 
Division 3 Game Story (37 entries)
1. Copper Kettle with Royals Another Year: Winning Streak at 21 - Zachary Holden, Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum
Tie-2. Settles Has 34 Kills, Leads Fostoria to Key NBC Victory - Joshua Morgret, Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune
Tie-2. Hair-Raising Experience for Simmons - Rick Noland, Medina Gazette
Tie-4. Survival - Mark Hazelwood, Norwalk Reflector
Tie-4. Clyde Takes Down Norwalk in Overtime - Mark Hazelwood, Norwalk Reflector
Tie-4. Win Not ‘Foul’ for Colts - Rick Noland, Medina Gazette
 
Division 3 Writer of the Year – Rob McCurdy, Marion Star (Third Consecutive Year)
(Two first-place finishes; one second-place finish and two third-place finishes)
 
Rob McCurdy, Marion Star – 18.33 points
Mark Hazelwood, Norwalk Reflector – 16.17 points
Rick Noland, Medina Gazette – 13.17 points
 
 
Division 4
Division 4 Investigative/Enterprise (7 entries)
Place - Title - Writer
 
1. Early Signing Period Alters Process for Recruits - Jarrod Ulrey, This Week Newspapers
2. 3-part series breaking down the OHSAA transition to new Commissioner - Jarrod Ulrey, This Week Newspapers
3. Guilbough Out Amid Array of Accusations - Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers
 
Division 4 News (22 entries)
1. Orange’s Harrison Commits to Ohio State - Scott Hennen, This Week Newspapers
2. Waivers Give Golf, Tennis Players Options - Dave Purpura, This Week Newspapers
3. Mercy Rule Receives ‘Mostly Good Feedback’ - Dave Purpura, This Week Newspapers
Tie-4. Non-Region Format Would Alter Landscape - Dave Purpura, This Week Newspapers
Tie-4. New Rule Kind to Grizzlies - Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers
 
Division 4 Feature (33 entries)
1. Rivalries Run Deep at Local High School - Seth Shaner, Clintonville Spotlight
2. Like Father, Goodwin Excels on Court - Dave Purpura, This Week Newspapers
3. Canedy Starred in Any Role - Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers
4. Campbell Takes Curveball Deep - Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers
 
Division 4 Column (9 entries)
1. Doing It Like Mom Would Want - Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers
2. Judgement May Cost Colts Title - Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers
Tie-3. Ross Will Be Tough Act to Follow as OHSAA Leader - Jarrod Ulrey, This Week Newspapers
Tie-3. Realignments Present Numerous Challenges - Scott Hennen, This Week Newspapers
 
Division 4 Game Story (28 entries)
1. Indians’ Magic in Permanent Ink - Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers
2. Magical Run Falls Short in State Title Game for DC - John Cummings, Miami Valley Newspapers
3. Wapak Ends Falcons Run, 27-17 - John Cummings, Miami Valley Newspapers
4. Gahanna Girls Bowling Team Won State Title - Jarrod Ulrey, This Week Newspapers
 
 
Writer of the Year- Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers (Fifth Year in a Row and seventh win in nine years of contest)
(Two first place finishes, one second place finish, two third place finishes and two fourth place finishes)
 
Todd Stumpf, Medina Post Newspapers – 25 points
Jarrod Ulrey, This Week Newspapers – 12.5 points
Dave Purpura, This Week Newspapers – 12 points
Scott Hennen, This Week Newspapers – 7.5 points
 
 
Portrait Photography Division
Place, Name, Outlet, Name of Photo
 
1. Robert McGraw, Chillicothe Gazette - New Dominant Program
2. Robert McGraw, Chillicothe Gazette - Pivotal Role
3. Robert McGraw, Chillicothe Gazette - McCallum Reflects on Road to Recovery
 
Game Action Photography Division
Place, Name, Outlet, Name of Photo
 
1. Robert McGraw, Chillicothe Gazette - Cross Country: FAC Championships
2. Erin Caldwell, Sandusky Register - Pin to Win
3. Skip Weaver, Greenville Daily Advocate - 2018 High School Fall Sports Statistics
4. Joe Negrich, The Mirror Newspapers - Maumee Baseball Team Upsets Lima Bath, Defiance
5. Joe Negrich, The Mirror Newspapers - Zach Marvin Records Hat Trick During Win Over Whitmer
 
 
 
 
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