Les East wins Sports Writer of the Year in LSWA contest

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Les East

NATCHITOCHES – Crescent City Sports’ Les East won Sports Writer of the Year honors in the annual Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s annual contest.

The results were announced here Sunday on the final day of the LSWA’s annual convention, which is held in conjunction with the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction weekend.

In his work for CCS and Saturday Down South, East picked up one first-place award and three second-place honors. With scoring on a 3-2-1 basis, his nine points were more than any other writer in Louisiana.

East’s story on Union Parish running back Trey Holly’s final high school game in the Division III non-select football state championship in December was chosen first in the Prep Event category. His column on the LHSAA’s select/non-select split was voted second in Prep Columns, and his feature on summer baseball in New Orleans was second in Prep Feature.

Additionally, East placed third in the Prep Writer of the Year category.

Crescent City Sports also took home another first place award for Live TV Event. Lenny Vangilder and Wayde Keiser were awarded for their call of the Division I select playoff football game between Brother Martin and St. Augustine.

CCS ranked third in the Division I sweepstakes, which awards points to media outlets on a 3-2-1 basis in writing categories.

Awards presented July 30, 2023, Natchitoches, La.


1) ROD WALKER, The Advocate
Story on Pelicans being eliminated from the playoffs
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: Story has a strong lede, and the writer puts it into perfect context. Strong phrasing here: “These weren’t ordinary tears, though. These were tears of sadness, tears of love and tears of pride, all mixed together for a coach who led this team far beyond where it looked like it was heading when the season began.” I learned what “lagniappe” was. It’s an obscure reference, but it kept me interested. This story reads like a column and a game story, and it doesn’t get hung up on play by play. The second time reading through it, I enjoyed the story even more. That’s the staying power. It’s an excellent combination of color and impact. The writer does a good job of incorporating both.
2) Amie Just, The Advocate
Story on Los Angeles Rams’ win over Bengals in Super Bowl
3) Will Guillory, The Athletic
Story on Zion Williamson scores a career-high 43 points in win
HM) Terrin Waack, The Advocate
Story on Andy Dalton’s MNF struggles continue in loss to Cardinals

1) TEDDY ALLEN, Shreveport-Bossier Journal
A story on Louisiana Tech’s baseball season coming to an end
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: Great lead. Really sets up the emotion of the story and the culmination of a year-long journey. I love the way the story works its way through the tournament’s ups and downs and the way the writer points out the cruelty of baseball not coming down to the final seconds and the hopefulness of that two-out rally to continue your season. The writer puts you at the tournament, in the players’ and parents’ minds. Just an overall great use of fun writing.
2) Jim Kleinpeter, The Advocate
Story on Southern’s historic first football meeting with LSU
3) Ron Higgins, Tiger Details
Story of LSU’s football dramatic win over Alabama
HM) Jeff Duncan, The Advocate
Story on of Tulane’s football win over Memphis

1) MATTHEW LOUVIERE, The Daily Iberian
Story on MMA fighter Carli Judice picks up win in first pro fight
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: Imagine covering an event – a baseball game, a golf match, an auto race – that lasted just 17 seconds. Through outstanding reporting, the winning author created a compelling story despite the quick ending to a Mixed Martial Arts event.
2) Joey Martin, The Concordia Sentinel
Barlow shines in final game for collegiate wooden bat baseball team
3) Malcolm Butler, Lincoln Parish Journal
Story on La. Tech baseball’s attitude towards military opponent
HM) T. Scott Boatright, Lincoln Parish Journal
Story on Grambling-Southern football game

1) LES EAST, Crescent City Sports
Story on Division III Non-Select football state championship game
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: Excellent decision to make focus of the game story – the story of a legendary high school player in defeat. And strong execution.
2) Teddy Allen, Shreveport-Bossier Journal
A story on Benton and Haughton wild shootout football game.
3) Doug Ireland, Shreveport-Bossier Journal
A story on Byrd’s win over Natchitoches Central
HM) J.J. Marshall, Shreveport-Bossier Journal
A story on Loyola-North Caddo game

Story on Vandebilt winning first baseball title in 51 years
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: I was hooked on the story from start to finish. The Vandebilt baseball team was playing for a lot more than just themselves, and I really felt that human-interest side of the story. Well done.
2) Jake Martin, The Ouachita Citizen
Story on OCS winning eighth state championship
3) Tony Marks, Oakdale Journal
A story about Fairview advancing to semifinals
HM) Kyle Roberts, Lincoln Parish Journal
A story on Ruston taking on West Monroe

1) DOUG IRELAND, Shreveport-Bossier Journal
A column on Louisiana native Bill Russell’s legacy
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: An incredible job of taking a story about a national figure in Bill Russell and tying it back to his complicated roots in Louisiana. Great anecdote about not signing autographs. Though he might never be honored in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, his legend should certainly live on, as the writer notes at the end. Good, well-rounded, thoughtful piece.
2) John Marcase, The Town Talk
A column on the Saints’ true rivals being the 49ers, Rams
3) Adam Hunsucker, Tiger Rag
A column on how Joe Burrow’s status as a football coaching job creator
HM) J.J. Marshall, Shreveport-Bossier Journal
A column on lessons remembered from Joe Delaney’s death

A column on Kim Mulkey’s complicated relationship with former star pupil Brittney Griner
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: A provocative and thoughtful piece that transcends sports, skewers the surface-level platitudes of the controversy and really gets down to business. The writer’s distaste for the “perverse culture war” is evident – as it well should be – and rightfully calls out the “thoughts and prayers” cliche as empty-headed and performative. Strong takes, and correct ones. This is a model piece of writing. Well done.
2) Les East, Saturday Down South
A column on LSU firing men’s basketball coach Will Wade
3) Jimmy Watson, Shreveport Times
A column on my contact with the late Eddie Robinson
HM) Teddy Allen, Shreveport-Bossier Journal
A column on LA Tech’s Bulldog Baseball Bromance with coach Lane Burroughs

1) JEFF DUNCAN, The Advocate
Column on Arch Manning picked college destination the right way – the Manning Way
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: The writer offered insight and perspective into one of the biggest sports stories of the year in the state and in so doing held the reader’s attention from start to finish. It was easy to note the writer was well-connected with those who played key roles in the story.
2) Les East, Crescent City Sports
Column on LHSAA split between “select” and “non-select” schools
3) Jimmy Watson, Shreveport Times
Column on how to fix the broken softball playoff system in Louisiana
HM) Ken Trahan, Crescent City Sports
Column on reunified LHSAA state football championships are success

1) RAYMOND PARTSCH III, Kinder Courier News
A column on the where everything means more – the mighty and corrupt SEC
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: A very pointed column and a strong commentary how money rules SEC sports (and all sports). Excellent research, backs up the opinion with a litany of important and often forgotten perpetrators. Things are different in the SEC? This column follows that thought to completion in a compelling, entertaining and informative manner. Easily the best in class in this category.
2) Joey Martin, The Concordia Sentinel
A column on how LHSAA blunders continue
3) Jake Martin, The Ouachita Citizen
A column on how OCS offers blueprint for success
HM) Hunter Bower, Geaux Preps
A column on how LHSAA membership should shift focus

1) AMIE JUST, The Advocate
Feature on Saints players reflecting on Sean Payton’s career
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: It was a marvelous behind-the-scenes feature on Sean Payton, letting us know his inner-feelings and sentiments preparing for his farewell news conference. We are provided a colorful, detailed look into the man’s soul talking to those who he touched. The details were fascinating, from accidentally taking Ambien instead of his blood pressure medicine to the compassion he showed Demario Davis to his surreal football acumen. It was a fabulous comprehensive look at the man told through voices that made the piece so compelling.
2) Luke Johnson, The Advocate
Feature on Saints VP of football administration Khai Harley
3) Kevin Foote, The Acadiana Advocate
Feature on how sports fan Greg Gautreaux built a lengthy career as an NFL official
HM) Will Guillory, The Athletic
Feature on CJ McCollum’s meticulous thought process ahead of his trade to New Orleans

Feature on LSU’s “other” Super Bowl quarterback – David Woodley
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: This was a tricky story to tell, but the writer handled it with an amazing touch. Great lead and kicker, but everything in the middle of this well-sourced piece kept the story moving and kept me engaged. Tremendous piece.
2) Ron Higgins, Tiger Details
Feature story on the SEC Skywriters tour
3) Amie Just, The Advocate
Feature on Loyola player offering free rides to coaches at Final Four
HM) Leah Vann, The Advocate
Feature on the 2023 football recruiting class is last of the ‘Katrina Kids’

1) JIMMY WATSON, Shreveport Times
Feature on Minden football standout Makhi Reed overcoming mom’s addiction
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: A strongly reported and well-written feature that doesn’t strain for the happy ending that may not exist.
2) Les East, Crescent City Sports
Feature on the state of summer baseball in greater New Orleans area
3) Teddy Allen, Shreveport-Bossier Journal
Feature on impregnated wife behind Prep Coach of the Year
HM) Robin Fambrough, The Advocate
Feature on how McKinley coach Ron Allen balances personal tragedy, team triumph

1) LAMAR GAFFORD, The Town Talk
Feature on Hicks’ basketball teams navigating loss of gym with outdoor basketball court of dirt
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: This story has the best combination of prose, a strong lead and great flow with the details to capture the reader. You get invested right away about the Hicks basketball teams and what their current state is. There is fine sourcing of the information and the quotes are used well, all the way through the end.
2) Jake Martin, The Ouachita Citizen
Feature on Claiborne Christian coach and family
3) Malcolm Butler, Lincoln Parish Journal
Feature on Cedar Creek Linebacker Quincy Lewis
HM) Joseph Halm, St. Tammany Farmer
Feature on Stacy Hollowell’s path to winning national title

1) CHRISTIAN CLARK, The Advocate
Story on Zion Williamson’s mega-deal has clauses tied to weight issues
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: A tight and clearly-written piece that thoroughly explains a team’s decision to enter a nine-figure contract with a player that hasn’t lived up to expectations. The piece expertly uses previous reporting and background to tell a story that never gets farther into the weeds than necessary.
2) Tony Taglavore, Shreveport-Bossier Journal
Story on Louisiana Downs to Cancel Super Derby
3)Sheldon Mickles, The Advocate
Story on Murray State’s Matt McMahon accepting LSU head coaching job
HM) Leah Vann, The Advocate
Story on Paul Mainieri says he won’t return to coach at Notre Dame

1) JEFF DUNCAN, The Advocate
New Orleans’ City Park hosted world’s greatest athletes in 1992
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: In a category with a number of good stories, the writer stands out by actually putting in the work. These days, the retelling of a 30-year old tale is invariably slapped together as an oral history. Often effective, but almost always lazy. That’s not the case here as the author actually tells the story while weaving in the recollections of those involved in New Orleans’ improbable bid to host the 1992 U.S. Olympic track and field trials. The whole premise is absurd. Asking anyone to run at full speed in New Orleans in June? Without a real track and field facility? How the heck did that happen? This story understands why it was so unlikely, and explains how it all came together.
2) Rod Walker, The Advocate
A story on Crescent City Classic runner with Down syndrome is first to wear No. 321
3) Doug Ireland, Shreveport-Bossier Journal
A feature/column on local ties to Boston Marathon
HM) Teddy Allen, Shreveport-Bossier Journal
A story on cousin Kevin being USA’s secret weapon in Presidents Cup win

1) RAYMOND PARTSCH III, Kinder Courier News
A feature on Oberlin hunter Heidi Manuel who honors her late father
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: A touching and economically told story with a fine balance of trenchant facts and lively quotes.
2) Glenn Quebedeaux, Crowley Post Signal
Story on Rondell Joseph realizing dream with tournament victory
3) Tony Marks, Ville Platte Gazette
A story about Roberie turns childhood hobby into career
HM) Louis Bonnette, Lake Charles American Press
A column on a tree climbing dog that tracks squirrels

Photo of G.W. Carver basketball player & team celebrating long-waited state title win
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: This photo placed first because of the moment of joy captured here juxtaposed with the sadness seen in the other team on the left side of the screen. It’s a really nice image that communicates what is happening without needing to read the caption.
2) Sophia Germer, The Advocate
Photo of Sarah T. Reed HS plays its first game since Hurricane Katrina
3) Michael Johnson, The Advocate
Photo from American Legion championship game
HM) Josh McDaniel, Lincoln Parish Journal
Photo of Cedar Creek blocks FG in jamboree

1) SCOTT THRELKELD, The Advocate
Photo of Pelicans’ C.J. McCollum throws down a dunk as Zion Williamson celebrates
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: This image placed first because of great motion and composition. Love the feeling of a team’s shared enthusiasm. It really communicates the root of what it means to be a team: celebrating your teammates’ victories just as you would yours.
2) Sophia Germer, The Advocate
Photo of Pelicans’ Zion Williamson goes in for a dunk in game with Golden State
3) Jonathan Mailhes, Tiger Rag
Photo of LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels scores a TD in overtime to beat Alabama
HM) Tony Marks, Ville Platte Gazette
Photo of LSU playing Southern Miss in Hattiesburg Regional


JUDGE’S COMMENTS: Bold, artistic graphics and illustrations immediately catch the eye. It’s not hard to imagine an LSU football fan, for instance, holding onto issues as keepsakes (the Sep. 24 LSU Gameday cover illustration of kicker Cole Tracey is particularly impressive). The time and attention devoted to layout and design is obvious, but all the other nuts and bolts of a great section are present – a wealth of info boxes, solid headlines and great photo choices. Of course, and most importantly, there is a wealth of locally written and developed content. Given the state of print journalism in the year 2023, Advocate readers should consider themselves lucky; this is likely one of the better sports sections in the country.
2) Lake Charles American Press

JUDGE’S COMMENTS: Every writer in this category had at least one standout piece, so first place was not earned cheaply. And the gap between first two places was incredibly narrow. Both authors had must-read stories touching on the death of Huntington High basketball player Devin Myers — one a column, the other a game story. It was a tough task that both handled with tact and respect. I hope readers read both in the wake of the tragedy.
It was the story of Minden football player Makhi Reed that helped make the difference. The honesty the reporter elicits from Reed, his grandparents, and his mother who has battled drug addiction is eye-opening, heart-rending and also heartwarming. A story well-told, and mostly told by its subjects. It’s also tough to judge a category with a story as personal as the column about the passing of the author’s father. Not every writer has such an emotionally affecting story to share. But the writer’s ability to turn this eulogy into a sports story that made us care about a man the reader had likely never met was impressive. All in all, a well-rounded collection of sports writing.
2) J.J. Marshall, Shreveport-Bossier Journal
3) Les East, Crescent City Sports
HM) Robin Fambrough, The Advocate

JUDGE’S COMMENTS: Fishing partnerships, state championship-winning performances, near-death experiences and scheduling controversy. The writer gave us a little bit of everything, and presented it to us in a detailed and informative fashion. Solid work all around.
2) Raymond Partsch III, Kinder Courier News
3) Hunter Bower, Geaux Preps
HM) Joey Martin, Concordia Sentinel

1) RON HIGGINS, Tiger Details
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: This is a true storyteller in a quite competitive writing competition. Like most in this division, the writer knows the beat and credibility is above reproach. But this writer also has a good understanding of the beat’s history and punctuates details with bits of stories from the past that lend creativity and knowledge that sets these stories apart.
2) Christian Clark, The Advocate
3) Terrin Waack, The Advocate
HM) Kevin Foote, The Acadiana Advocate

1) J.J. MARSHALL, Shreveport-Bossier Journal
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: The column about the lives and deaths of Devin Myers and Jimmy Orton was powerful and did a great job juxtaposing a young life being lost to senseless violence and an older life lost after having what can be considered a full life of accomplishments. One had so much to look forward to, the other had so much to look back on, and the column did an excellent job of expressing that. The column about goodbye letters from college athletes entering the transfer portal is interesting and I like how it was written by “translating” what it means. I don’t necessarily agree with every point made, but I did enjoy reading how it was written and the overarching point. The final column had a good anecdote about a player who was not voted all-state and who that player turned out to be (Marshall Faulk). I happen to agree with this stance about too many players being on all-district teams and why that may be the case. But connecting it to the anecdote was also very good.
2) Jeff Duncan, The Advocate
3) Rod Walker, The Advocate
HM) Adam Hunsucker, Tiger Rag

1) RAYMOND PARTSCH III, Kinder Courier News
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: The winning entry expertly offered the best traits of column-writing with this trifecta – the biting critique, a reasoned analysis and glowing praise.
2) Jake Martin, The Ouachita Citizen
3) Joey Martin, The Concordia Sentinel
HM) Tony Marks, Ville Platte Gazette

Feature on LSU’s “other” Super Bowl quarterback – David Woodley
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: “This is outstanding story telling of a complicated figure in LSU sports history. What stands out in the feature is its background depth and multiple voices. Perhaps the most telling nugget in the piece is the revelation by some of his Miami Dolphin teammates that they had seen Woodley selling jewelry in the team parking lot before games after his NFL career ended. Also, Woodley’s ex-wife is the voice that shapes the story, by what she says and what she refuses to expound upon. Finally, the use of short quotes is impactful in its brevity, emphatically supporting the feature’s tragic storyline.”

Awarded to the writer who accumulates the most points (points awarded on a 3-2-1 basis) in regular writing categories. Points are NOT awarded for Prep Writer of the Year, Beat Writer of the Year, Columnist of the Year, or Story of the Year.

LES EAST, Crescent City Sports & Saturday Down South
9 points (one first, three seconds)

Jeff Duncan, The Advocate (2), 6
Raymond Partsch III, Kinder Courier News (2), 6
Teddy Allen, Shreveport-Bossier Journal (1), 6
Amie Just, The Advocate (1), 6
Rod Walker, The Advocate (1), 5
Doug Ireland, Shreveport-Bossier Journal (1), 5
Jimmy Watson, Shreveport Times (1) 5
Jake Martin, The Ouachita Citizen 5
Adam Hunsucker, Tiger Rag (1), 4
Joey Martin, The Concordia Sentinel, 4
Matthew Louviere, The Daily Iberian, (1), 3
Wilson Alexander, The Advocate (1), 3
Lamar Gafford, The Town Talk, (1), 3
Christian Clark, The Advocate (1), 3
Chris Singleton, Houma Courier (1) 3
Ron Higgins, Tiger Details, 3
John Marcase, The Town Talk, 2
Jim Kleinpeter, The Advocate, 2
Luke Johnson, The Advocate 2
Tony Taglavore, Shreveport-Bossier Journal 2
Glenn Quebedeaux, Crowley Post Signal 2
Tony Marks, Oakdale Journal, 2
Malcolm Butler, Lincoln Parish Journal, 2
Sheldon Mickles, The Advocate 1
Kevin Foote, The Acadiana Advocate 1
Will Guillory, The Athletic 1

(points awarded on a 3-2-1 basis in all categories in regular writing contest except for Story of the Year; first-place awards in parentheses)

The Advocate (7), 36 points
Shreveport-Bossier Journal (2), 13 points
Crescent City Sports, (1) 7
Shreveport Times (1) 5
Tiger Rag (1) 5
Tiger Details, 3
Saturday Down South, 2
The Athletic, 1

Kinder Courier News (2) 6
The Town Talk, (1) 5
The Ouachita Citizen, 5
The Concordia Sentinel, 4
The Daily Iberian, (1) 3
Houma Courier, (1) 3
Geaux Preps, (1) 3
Crowley Post Signal, 2
Oakdale Journal, 2
Lincoln Parish Journal, 2


1) SPORTS TALK with JJ & BONZAI BEN, 1130 The Tiger
Hosts: John James Marshall, Ben Marshall
Producer: Travis Stewart
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: Loved the energy here and they did a nice job of having a good back-and-forth conversation.
2) Matt Miguez (host), James Meche (co-host-producer), Crunchtime with Miguez & Meche, 103.7 The Game
3) Raymond Partsch III (host), Hannah Adams (producer), RP3 & Company, 103.7 The Game
HM) Matt Moscona (host), Matt Musso & Paul O’Neil (producers), After Further Review, 104.5 ESPN, Baton Rouge

Interview with LSU legend and Super Bowl champion Andrew Whitworth
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: Good mix of questions unique to the guest. Kept the local flavor of the interview despite Whitworth being a nationally-known person.
2) Jordy Hultberg, 103.7 The Game
Interview with LSU baseball coach Jay Johnson
3) Raymond Partsch III, 103.7 The Game
Interview with LSU baseball legend Skip Bertman
HM) Matt Moscona, 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge
Interview with Super Bowl winning quarterback Eli Manning

2) Carencro High School Football, Ben Love, Blaine Viator, Z105.9 FM
3) Vermilion Parish Game of Week Football, Craig Wall, Ward Courville, 106.3 Radio Lafayette
HM) Minden High Football, Mark Chreene, Jake Chapman, KBEF-FM

JUDGE’S COMMENTS: Ultimately, I graded the podcasts on overall entertainment value. Which clips left me wanting to listen more and kept my short attention span focused? The winning clip did that by showcasing both the sense of humor among the group and the overall hosts’ chemistry. The segment had a good flow with the conversation among the hosts and the phone hotline calls that were included, too. Despite not necessarily being the target listener for this pod, it kept my attention the whole way through and I was interested to hear what other portions of the pod that were not included would sound like as well. The format, camaraderie among the hosts, and knowledge of subject matter made this the winner for me.
2) Matt Moscona and T-Bob Hebert, “Scone and T”
3) Chris Blair & Kent Lowe, “Hey Fightin’ Podcast”
HM) John James Marshall & Teddy Allen, “Designated Podcast”

JUDGE’S COMMENTS: This entry had a good mix of human interest stories and high school football coverage. It’s easy to see the passion and hard work it took to produce the story about the softball team’s support for their coach’s daughter and the story of the female football player. The football coverage had good use of graphics. The delivery by the anchor was solid. Video highlights were excellent as well.
2) Seth Lewis, KATC-TV
3) Fletcher Mackel, WDSU

Playoff football game between Brother Martin and St. Augustine.
JUDGE’S COMMENTS: Exciting first quarter action called by two people that obviously know a lot about each team. They do a great job of playing off each other and taking cues. The play by play announcer has excellent knowledge of each player. He also communicates what is happening on the field to the audience in a calm manner. The analyst obviously knows these players as well. On the big touchdown, he clearly explains how the offense fooled the defense. There is also some great comic relief in this clip. Great Job.
2) Lyn Rollins, Chris Mycoskie, and Madison Kaufman, ESPN+
Football game between Louisiana Tech and UTEP
3) Jim Derry, Jim Rapier and Clyde Verdin, Varsity Sports Now
Basketball game between St. Paul’s Zachary
HM) Dan McDonald/Eric Mouton, ESPN+
Commentary from UL vs. Louisiana Tech men’s basketball game


DIVISION I (Release/Feature – Football)
1. JASON PUGH, Northwestern State University
Feature on sixth-year senior WR Gavin Landry’s NSU career
Judges’ Comments: “The winner in this category details the career of a former walk-on who overcame a heart defect and a torn ACL to survive and shine. Judicious use of quotes and great context.”
2. Matthew Bonnette, McNeeseSports.com
McNeese football head coach Frank Wilson looks back on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
3. Harrison Valentine, LSU Athletics Communications
Brian Kelly’s introductory press conference and first day at LSU.

DIVISION II (Release/Feature – Men’s Basketball, Baseball)
1. KANE MCGUIRE, Louisiana Tech Strategic Communications
Feature on Exavian Christon’s Return to Basketball:
Judges’ Comments: “Excellent detail about Christon dealing with a heart problem, especially the day it happened and the honest, raw, scared emotions of his comeback.”
2. Harrison Valentine, LSU Athletics Communications
Feature on LSU star transfer Tari Eason, sixth Man of the Year in the SEC.
3. Jason Pugh, Northwestern State University
Release on retiring men’s basketball coach Mike McConathy’s press conference.

DIVISION III (Release/Feature – Women’s Basketball, Softball)
1. HARRISON VALENTINE, LSU Athletics Communications
Feature on LSU’s star senior point guard Khayla Pointer
Judges’ Comments: “A complete piece of writing about an established star who quickly established a bond and a trust in her new head coach after playing her entire college career under her aunt who had been fired.”
2. Grant Kauvar, LSU Athletics Communications
Release on Kim Mulkey’s first year at LSU winning AP Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year.
3. Malcolm Butler, Louisiana Tech Strategic Communications
Feature on Louisiana Tech softball being Taylor-Made in 2022

DIVISION IV (Release/Feature – all other sports)
1. KANE MCGUIRE, Louisiana Tech Strategic Communications
Feature on Louisiana Tech’s soccer-playing Doll Sisters
Judges’ Comments: “Winner detailed the family dynamic with the perfect balance of detail and humor of an eight-year era at Tech when the Doll sisters were huge contributors on the field and in the classroom.
2. Brad Welborn, Northwestern State
Volleyball feature on assistant coach Stacey Aldredge and mother’s battle with cancer.
3. Matt Sullivan, Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics Communications
Game release on Louisiana’s soccer win over Southeastern Louisiana.

DIVISION V (Game Notes – All sports)
1. MATT SULLIVAN, Louisiana – Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball Notes vs. LSU in the Wally Pontiff, Jr., Classic
Judges’ Comments: “Great front page. Clean, good size font, all the information you need if I was only going to read one page. Having the quick facts on page 2 is perfect. Most won’t read past the first couple of pages, so it is great to have it there. Like the retired numbers on the numerical roster page. Clean text throughout, not using a whole bunch of different fonts and colors Good to have Minor League players included in the notes. Good to have a page on the home stadium, including attendance records.
2. Eric Jones, Louisiana Tech – Baseball Notes vs. Middle Tennessee
3. Kent Lowe, LSU – Men’s Basketball Notes at NCAA Championships

DIVISION VI (College Radio Play-By-Play)
1. CHRIS BLAIR, LSU – Call of LSU Baseball’s Walk-Off Win Over Georgia
Judges’ Comments: “Chris is always on-point, ready for every big moment!! He never takes a play, down, trip down the floor….or pitch….Off. In a big moment, he makes it big without shouting, screaming or getting out of control … a real veteran. LSU has a true gem because every time something huge happens, they can always know that Chris has nailed his call for a true archival soundtrack that the school and fanbase can be genuinely proud to have, and reflect on for decades to come.”
2. Nick White, ULM – Call of ULM Football’s Victory Over Liberty After Warhawks Were 32-Point Underdog
3. Malcolm Butler, Louisiana Tech – Call of Bulldogs’ Grab of Defeat From the Jaws of Victory Against SMU

DIVISION VII (Best College Graphic)
1. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball 2021 Senior Day Graphic
Judges’ Comments: “I think that while there are elements in the graphic that give it a textured feel, I think the concept is very clean and concise. You know exactly what you’re looking at when you see this graphic. Good use of photography and to not overdo it. I like the addition of Senior Weekend 21 at the top. I think having that is needed to tie the whole graphic together if someone didn’t read the tweet.”
2. LSU – Kim Mulkey Graphic For AP Coach of the Year
3. (tie) Louisiana Tech’s 2021 Baseball Regional Graphic
3. (tie) Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball Opening Weekend Attendance Graphic

DIVISION VIII (Best College Photo)
1. BEN MASSEY, RaginCajuns.com
Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball Members Pay Homage At Tony Robichaux’s Retired Number Prior To Easter Weekend Game vs. ULM
Judges’ Comments: “This photo should be titled, “With Honors.” Honoring the memory of a coach who instilled in his players the true meaning of the sport and what it means to stand for what you believe in, no matter what the cost.”
2. Mitchell Scaglione, LSU Sports.net
Track and Field’s Ji’eem Bullock lands in the Long Jump at Arizona State’s Baldy Castillo Invitational
3. Matt Sullivan, RaginCajuns.com
Louisiana Pitchers Tommy Ray and Bo Bonds Having Fun During Practice in the Rain

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