The Ouachita Citizen placed in multiple categories in the 2019 Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Sports editor Jake Martin was named Class II Prep Writer of the Year, and the Ouachita Citizen drew third place for best sports section in Class II.
Below are the results of the 2019 LSWA contest with The Ouachita Citizen honors in bold:
Judge’s comments: A dramatic, detailed story about Tiger Woods’ historic march to his fifth Masters championship. The well-written lead describes the golfer playing with Woods as wearing “the sorrowful, caged look of a guy caught at an opera he didn’t want to attend, much less be in.” The writer also sprinkles the story with historical perspective.
2. Larry Holder, The Athletic New Orleans. Story on Saints vs. Rams regular season game in which Drew Brees suffers injury.
3. Brooks Kubena, The Advocate. Story on Saints controversial loss to Rams in NFC Championship Game.
HM. Amie Just, The Advocate. Story on Saints backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater leading the team to a fifth-straight win.
Judge’s comments: Vivid story-telling that captures a big moment. It’s one thing to paint a picture but this story went beyond that with depth. It read quickly, always the mark of a well-written story.
HM. Brooks Kubena, The Advocate. Story on LSU taking down Alabama for first time since 2011.
PRO/COLLEGE EVENT – CLASS II
1. CHRIS SINGLETON, The Courier/Daily Comet. Story on New Orleans Saints win over the Houston Texans.
Judge’s comments: The writer had a game-winning 58-yard field goal with which to work, but he/she nailed it with this story about the lack of “panic” the Saints felt in the final seconds. Good quotes. Good description of the kick.
2. Mike Gegenheimer, The Courier/Daily Comet. Story on Nicholls football wild win in River Bell Classic
3. Raymond Partsch III, The Daily Iberian. Story on Texas’ victory over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
1. ROD WALKER, The Advocate. Story on Newman quarterback Arch Manning’s first high school football game.
Judge’s comments: By far the best in this category. The writer captured the debut of the heir to the throne of Manning football royalty with a tale so engaging I temporarily forgot I was judging a contest. It had all the details that put me in the moment, but also captured the grandness of the spectacle. Perhaps most important, the writer managed to craft it clearly without trying to compete with the story itself. And he didn’t bore me with inane statistics. Hallelujah!
2. Adam Hunsucker, Monroe News-Star. Oak Grove blows out White Castle in Class 1A championship game.
3. Bruce Brown, The Daily Advertiser. Acadiana Rams get sloppy for one quarter but hold on for artistic victory.
HM. Lenny Vangilder, Crescent City Sports. Story on the high school bowling championships.
PREP/AMATEUR EVENT – CLASS II
1. CHRIS SINGLETON, The Courier/Daily Comet. Story on St. James winning first football state championship in 40 years.
Judge’s comments: It’s a long read, but the writer managed to capture the enormity of the moment up high before breaking off into deadline play by play.
2. Bobby Ardoin, The Daily World. Story on football game between Eunice and Northwest.
3. Raymond Partsch III, The Daily Iberian. Story on stoppage time goal sparks ESA to playoff victory.
1. JEFF DUNCAN, The Athletic New Orleans. Column on fallout/reaction from the 2019 NFC Championship Game.
Judge’s comments: The writer did an excellent job of explaining why the Saints’ crushing loss was so devastating to New Orleans, a unique and passionate place that’s unlike any other NFL city.
3. Scooter Hobbs, Lake Charles American Press. Column on NFC no-call robs Saints of spot in the Super Bowl.
HM. Luke Johnson, The Advocate. Column on how Saints season appeared over after Drew Brees injury.
Judge’s comments: This column takes a strong stance on an important topic and is written by someone who knows the subject extremely well. It is informed by research that produced salient facts used skillfully to support the author’s point. I appreciated that (the) author made an effort not to demean the value of football in comparison to education — which would have been a too-easy choice — and instead emphasized how they had, previously, been symbiotic at LSU.
2. John Marcase, The Town Talk. Column on LSU football loud on and off the field.
3. Scooter Hobbs, Lake Charles American Press. Column on LSU enters new world with clutch win over Texas
HM. Scott Rabalais, The Advocate. Column on LSU basketball team losing without suspended coach Will Wade.
1. JOHN MARCASE, The Town Talk. Column on LHSAA forcing Vidalia football coach Dee Faircloth to retire.
Judge’s comments: The first-place story is a fantastic demonstration of how to call out a clearly flawed rule, and the writer just so happened to have a fantastic example to lead with.
2. Scooter Hobbs, Lake Charles American Press. Column on the best prep star that never existed.
3. Rod Walker, The Advocate. Column on Edna Karr winning fourth straight title.
GENERAL COLUMN – CLASS II
1. RAYMOND PARTSCH III, The Daily Iberian. Column on how childish behavior widens LHSAA split.
Judge’s comments: The winner got down to the nitty gritty on a controversial topic.
2. Mike Gegenheimer, The Courier/Daily Comet. Column on what the redemption of Ed Orgeron says about life.
3. Chris Singleton, The Courier/Daily Comet. Column on Louisiana Tech football star Amik Robertson.
HM. Kelly McElroy, The Courier/Daily Comet. Column on Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
1. TEDDY ALLEN, The Shreveport Times. Story on Anthony “Booger” McFarland.
Judge’s comments: Who doesn’t like a good “Booger” story? And certainly, this is one. The writer does a good job of introducing us to Booger and explaining the nickname, while also providing insight into what makes him, well, “Booger.” Nice work.
2. Les East, Crescent City Sports. Story on professional baseball’s departure from New Orleans area.
3. Amie Just, The Advocate. Story on Demario Davis and how his faith led him from jail to New Orleans.
HM. Glenn Guilbeau, USA TODAY-Louisiana. Story on Saints JV team playing well without Drew Brees.
COLLEGE FEATURE – CLASS I
Judge’s comments: This profile brings a family’s generations-long devotion to light. The lede drew the reader in, the stories painted a picture and the tempo of this story was perfect from start to finish. It made you care about the Scheuermann family – and about Delgado baseball.
2. Brooks Kubena, The Advocate. Story on why and how Joe Burrow can lead LSU.
3. Jeffrey Marx, The Advocate. Story on LSU gymnast Lexie Priessmann.
HM. Teddy Allen, The Shreveport Times. Story on Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame broadcaster Dave Nitz.
1. ROBIN FAMBROUGH, The Advocate. Story on Catholic-Pointe Coupee David Simoneaux juggling triumph, tragedy.
Judge’s comments: This piece perfectly sets the scene with details includings sights and sounds that connect you to the setting. Quotes are perfectly woven in, offering insight that couldn’t be found elsewhere and helps the reader develop an emotional connection to what they’re reading.
2. Larry Holder, The Athletic New Orleans. Story on kicker Manuel Pastor, foreign exchange student to eliminate Peyton Manning, Newman.
3. Lamar Gafford, The Town Talk. Story on Peabody basketball coach Charles Smith before induction into Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
HM. Jeff Duncan, The Athletic New Orleans. Story on Newman School quarterback Arch Manning.
GENERAL FEATURE – CLASS II
1. TONY TAGLAVORE, 318 Forum Magazine. Feature on sports talk host Tim Fletcher
Judge’s comments: This is the kind of story people naturally gravitate to, one that finds the subject, who has enjoyed great success, take a step out of his comfort zone for personal reasons and finds success again. Here’s a tip of the cap to Fletch, and to the writer who told his story in fine fashion.
2. Chris Singleton, The Courier/Daily Comet. Feature on death of Assumption High athlete Armond “Ziggy” Landry.
3. Mike Gegenheimer, The Courier/Daily Comet. Feature on Nicholls wide receiver Mason Roberts set to join Secret Service.
HM. Jake Martin, Ouachita Citizen. Feature on Graves duo shares bond over playing days.
BREAKING NEWS – OPEN CLASS
1. TIM BUCKLEY, The Daily Advertiser. Coverage of the death of Ragin’ Cajuns baseball coach Tony Robichaux.
Judge’s comments: The obituary, through an industrious use of clips and current interviews, took a full account of a man who might have been well known as a successful baseball coach but told readers much more — about his folksy manner, the conflict about missing his boys youth baseball career, and how the sport was a vehicle for him to connect with his players.
2. Robin Fambrough, The Advocate. Story on select schools forming LSA to execute logistics of stand-alone playoffs.
3. Rod Walker, The Advocate. Story on prep coaching legend Otis Washington passing away at age 80.
HM. Glenn Guilbeau, USA TODAY-Louisiana. Story on firing of LSU athletic director Joe Alleva.
GENERAL SPORTS – OPEN CLASS
1. JEFF DUNCAN, The Athletic New Orleans. Investigative story on the Carver High School football stadium.
Judge’s comments: Superb job of covering this story from every angle. The writer interviewed everyone connected with the story. Author did an excellent job of trying to explain something that is unexplainable. Or, more accurately, inexcusable.
3. Rod Walker, The Advocate. Story on death of famed PGA Tour caddie Alfred Dyer.
HM. John Simerman, The Advocate. Story on how failure at track can end in heartbreak for Louisiana race horses.
OUTDOORS WRITING – OPEN CLASS
Judge’s comments: Good story about the relationship between a man and his grandson, and not just the typical guy bragging about his grandkid. Good job providing background on both individuals and plenty of excellent quotes.
2. Tony Marks, Ville Platte Gazette. Feature on Lafayette teenager killing an alligator at Miller’s Lake.
3. Joe Macaluso, The Advocate. Falling from a tree stand can put you in the ER – or worse.
HM. Don Shoopman, The Daily Iberian. Story on Loreauville outdoorsman, son, friends enjoying bountiful dove hunt.
1.THE DAILY ADVERTISER. 10th Anniversary of Saints Super Bowl season.
Judge’s comments: Getting the fronts from the other Louisiana newspapers from that day was a wonderful touch. Alternating those pages with the original content kept things fresh and interesting. The mix of stories did a nice job of connecting that 2009 team to the current team. A great concept executed extremely well.
2. The Advocate. LSU-Alabama football preview.
3. The Advocate. LSU-Oklahoma Peach Bowl preview.
1. MINDEN PRESS-HERALD. 2019 Football Preview Section.
Judge’s comments: Very slick design! This looks like one of those glossy preview magazines you see on a store shelf. Great use of colors throughout and nice little touches, like the little football shape cutout for the page number. The writing is concise and ‘big picture.’ This is something to be proud of.
2.The Daily Iberian. 2019 High School Preview Section.
3. The Courier/Daily Comet. 2019 Football Preview Section.
COLLEGE/PRO PHOTOGRAPHY – OPEN CLASS
Judge’s comments: No brainer here… a great action photo that tells the story, and elicits a blood pressure raising reaction from every Saints fan ever. While there are earlier images of the Ram taking the Saints’ receiver out of the play before the ball arrives, clearly making it pass interference, this image still gets the story told.
2. Bill Feig, The Advocate. Photo of LSU quarterback Joe Burrow being carried off the field after another victory.
3. Travis Spradling, The Advocate. Photo of LSU quarterback gesturing to the North end zone Student section.
PREP/AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHY – OPEN CLASS
1. BILL FEIG, The Advocate. Photo of LSU signee Rammie Noel leaping over a goalie en route to scoring a goal during a soccer club match.
Judge’s comments: Clearly the best of the bunch. Action, overachieving, scared, determination, and rejection all in one photo. Best sports image that I judged in any category.
2. Hilary Scheinuk, The Advocate. Photo of University High quarterback Tanner Lawson losing the ball on a sack by a Madison Prep player.
3. Travis Spradling, The Advocate. Photo of couple from Plaquemine crossing the finish line of a 10K.
HM. Tony Marks, Oakdale Journal. Photo of the Oberlin baseball team winning state title.
Judge’s comments: The Advocate is considered one of the best papers in the country, and the examples in this entry shows why.
2. Lake Charles American-Press
3. The Daily Advertiser
1. THE COURIER / DAILY COMET
Judge’s comments: In a very tight race, The Courier/Daily Comet wins out by having the best mix of immediate content packaged with coverage from previous days.
1. ROBIN FAMBROUGH, The Advocate.
Judge’s comments: Impressive diversity in this group of stories. From a moving story on the death of a coach’s mom due to Alzheimer’s disease to a very vivid retrospective on Augustus’ legend to pointed criticism of the LHSAA split championship format, the writer shows depth, versatility and the ability to recognize a good story.
2. Les East, Crescent City Sports/Varsity Sports Louisiana.
3. Eric Narcisse, The Daily Advertiser.
HM. Jim Derry, St. Tammany Farmer/The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate.
1. JAKE MARTIN, Ouachita Citizen
Judge’s comments: I liked this selection of stories and the themes of dealing with failure and falling just short of winning titles in the baseball and softball stories.
2. Bobby Ardoin, The Daily World.
3. Chris Singleton, The Courier/Daily Comet.
HM. J.J. Marshall, Minden Press-Herald.
1. SCOTT RABALAIS, The Advocate.
Judge’s comments: This columnist captured three events with great perspective and stylish writing. He hit the key points in the events and molded them into a mosaic of words that provided opinion and insight to his readers. Lots of historical perspective in the columns and a rhythm in the writing.
2. Larry Holder, The Athletic New Orleans.
3. Lenny Vangilder, Crescent City Sports.
HM. Les East, Crescent City Sports/Saturday Down South.
1. MIKE GEGENHEIMER, The Courier/Daily Comet.
Judge’s comments: I liked that there were strong opinions clearly expressed in all of the columns. Whether you agree or not, it’s always good to know where the columnist stands on the topic.
2. J.J. Marshall, The Minden Press Herald.
3. Raymond Partsch III, The Daily Iberian.
HM. Kelly McElroy, The Courier/Daily Comet.
JEFF DUNCAN, The Athletic New Orleans. Investigative story on the Carver High School football stadium.
Judge’s comments: Lot of excellent entries, as usual, and difficult to compare the apples and oranges of gamers and columns to features. But one entry stood out for the depth of the reporting and its investigative tone. At first, I thought the story about George Washington Carver High and its football stadium was going to have a happy ending. Then the writer got my attention by telling me the stadium hadn’t been built and more than $1 million went missing. The mystery grabbed me.
It was a difficult, complicated narrative to tell but it was done well and kept me on edge. The amount of reporting required far exceeded the other entries and the writing was smartly matter-of-fact, a reader-friendly method with a story of this length. I wanted to know who did what to whom and the writer painted a pretty clear picture of that but did it in an objective way that allowed me to draw my own conclusions on who were the real culprits and villains.
Ultimately, it’s a story of another epic fail caused by a government getting involved. Quotes aren’t often great kickers but this one, “It’s weeds,” said it all in two words. A great job of organization, reporting and story-telling. My message to the writer: Thanks for writing this piece.
CHRIS SINGLETON, The Courier / Daily Comet
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, Columnist of the Year, or Story of the Year.
Chris Singleton 9 (two 1st, one 2nd, one 3rd)
Raymond Partsch III 8 (two 1st, two 3rd)
Rod Walker 6 (one 1st, three 3rd)
John Marcase 5 (one 1st, one 2nd)
Mike Gegenheimer 5 (two 2nd, one 3rd)
Robin Fambrough 5 (one 1st, one 2nd)
Les East 5 (one 1st, one 2nd)
Amie Just 4 (one 1st, one 3rd)
Scooter Hobbs 4 (one 2nd, two 3rd)
Tony Taglavore 3 (one 1st)
J.J. Marshall 3 (one 2nd, one 3rd)
Brooks Kubena 3 (one 2nd, one 3rd)
Adam Hunsucker 2 (one 2nd)
Lamar Gafford 1 (one 3rd)
Bruce Brown 1 (one 3rd)
(points awarded on a 3-2-1 basis except for Story of the Year)
The Advocate 38 (six 1st, five 2nd, 10 3rd)
The Athletic New Orleans 12 (two 1st, three 2nd)
The Daily Advertiser 9 (two 1st, three 3rd)
Lake Charles American-Press 6 (two 2nd, two 3rd)
The Town Talk 6 (one 1st, one 2nd, one 3rd)
Shreveport Times 3 (one 1st)
Ville Platte Gazette 2 (one 2nd)
Monroe News-Star 2 (one 2nd)
THE COURIER / DAILY COMET
The Courier/Daily Comet 22 (four 1st, three 2nd, four 3rd)
The Daily Iberian 10 (one 1st, two 2nd, three 3rd)
Minden Press-Herald 5 (one 1st, one 2nd)
Ouachita Citizen 4 (one 1st, one 3rd)
The Daily World 4 (two 2nd)
318 Forum Magazine 3 (one 1st)
BEST SPORTS TALK SHOW (SOLO)
1. MATT MOSCONA (host), After Further Review, 104.5 ESPN, Baton Rouge
Judge’s comments: This entry had great energy, great cadence, and I love the random rant basically ripping Ohio State. This host showed passion, stated facts, and really captured me with his confidence on the microphone. Very, very entertaining.
2. Raymond Partsch III (host), Louis Prejean (producer), RP3 & Company, 103.7 The Game, Lafayette
3. Ben Love (host), Clint Domingue (producer), Bumper to Bumper Sports, 103.7 The Game, Lafayette
HM. Patrick Netherton (host), Rogers Hampton (producer), Patrick Netherton Show, 1130 The Tiger, Shreveport
BEST SPORTS TALK SHOW (DUO-GROUP)
1. AARON DIETRICH and JAKE MARTIN (hosts), John Tabor (producer), Morning Drive, Sports Talk 97.7 FM, Monroe.
2. J.J. Marshall and Ben Marshall (hosts), Travis Stewart, producer, Sports Talk with JJ & Benzai, 1130 The Tiger, Shreveport.
3. Jordy Culotta and T-Bob Hebert (hosts), Off the Bench, 104.5 ESPN, Baton Rouge.
HM. Don Allen, Glenn Quebedeaux, Bruce Brown, Tom Brown and Bobby Ardoin (hosts), Clint Domingue (producer), Five Guys, Stories & Lies, 103.7 The Game, Lafayette.
1. Carencro High School Football, Ben Love and Blaine Viator, Z105.9 FM.
Judge’s comments: “I liked the chemistry between the play-by-play announcer and color analyst. Nice inflection on the big plays, good facts, and I felt like I was updated with stats and game log. Loved the pacing and excitement of the play-by-play announcer in this entry.”
2. Captain Shreve High School Football, Tony Taglavote and Jimmy Martin, The River 95.7 FM.
3. Lafayette High School Football, Raymond Partsch III and Chad Jones, The Rewind 97.7 FM, Lafayette.
HM. St. Thomas More Football, Danny Jones and Sam Heinen, 103.7 The Game, Lafayette.
1. MATT MOSCONA and RYAN THERIOT, The Riot Podcast, 104.5 ESPN, Baton Rouge.
Judge’s comments: “High Energy, attention driven content, kept my attention through all 5 minutes. Audio quality was perfect. Great chemistry. I learned several things during the podcast, mixed player perspective without sounding smarter than the average fan. Brought the content to my level.”
2. Raymond Partsch III, The RAP Game Podcast, 103.7 The Game, Lafayette.
HM. Ralph Malbrough, Saints Happy Hour Podcast.
1. AARON DIETRICH, KNOE, Monroe
Judge’s comments: The stories were heartwarming and very well done. The questions, editing and shooting were excellent.
2. Andrew Doak, WWL, New Orleans
3. Fletcher Mackel, WDSU, New Orleans
1. LYN ROLLINS and CHRIS MYCOSKIE (announcers), LA Tech and ULM Football, ESPN+.
Judge’s comments: The intro to the Louisiana Tech game was very well-researched and well-presented. The play-by-play was extremely smooth ad
2. Ken Berthelot and Wayde Keiser (announcers), Lenny Vangilder (producer), High School Football, Crescent City Sports.
3. Dan McDonald and Eric Mouton (announcers), Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics, ESPN+.
1. CODY WORSHAM LSU. “That’s Joe” (Prelude).
Judge’s comments: Writer took advantage of LSU’s massive budget to travel with a video crew to Burrow’s Ohio hometown and write a thorough 10-part series which told you everything about the Tigers’ Heisman Trophy winner in the making. Even the synopsis story he entered for this contest was more than 6,200 words. But it was well-written and had a great flow.
2. Jason Pugh, Northwestern State. Williams’ death latest test of Demons’ tightly knit family.
3. Malcolm Butler, Louisiana Tech. Lewis Shows Leadership Through Adversity.
1. KANE McGUIRE, Louisiana Tech. Hall of Fame: Randy White.
Judge’s comments: Great insight mixed with needed perspective on this former LA Tech basketball star being inducted into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame. Writer did excellent research and it showed.
2. Jason Pugh, Northwestern State. Demon baseball alumni deal with alternate spring reality.
3. Kent Lowe, LSU, Memories Plentiful of Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.
FEATURE/RELEASE (WOMEN’S BASKETBALL, SOFTBALL)
1. ED CASSIERE, Xavier, Moore takes her talents to 1 Drexel Drive.
Judge’s comments: Great lede – “There are no winged horses flying above Xavier University of Louisiana’s Convocation Center . . . and no leprechauns lurking in the Washington Avenue Canal that divides the campus. But check out this rarity. . . ”drew readers into the uniqueness of Xavier women’s basketball signing Shaelynn Moore, a graduate transfer from rival Dillard.
2. Malcolm Butler, Louisiana Tech – Louisiana Tech pulls upset over Blazers.
ALL OTHER SPORTS/STORIES
1. MALCOLM BUTLER, Louisiana Tech. Lincoln Parish Buddy Davis passes.
Judge’s comments: It was an obituary that read like a Who’s Who tribute to one of the best and most beloved sportswriters ever in Louisiana. When you have coaches and athletes praising you as did Davis, you know you’ve done something right in your career.
2. Harrison Valentine, LSU. Consistency, Maturity Key in Kiya Johnson’s Fast Start at LSU.
3. Matthew Bonnette, McNeese. Macintyre Ties for 6th at The Open Championship.
GRAPHICS (award given to school department)
Judge’s comments: Both of LSU’s entries jumped out at you. There was the simplicity of a poster of Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow in his white LSU jersey and his Heisman Trophy at his feet contrasted against a purple background ghosted with a few pictures of him and several relevant phrases. Then, there was the national championship game poster celebrating the win over Clemson featuring 19 pictures from game night and a montage of 20 players as well as Ed Orgeron’s One Team One Heartbeat in a signature that may or not be his. The national title poster is over-the-top too busy, but considering the magnitude of the victory and the fact so many players contributed, it works.
2. Louisiana Tech
COLLEGE STAFF PHOTOS
1. DARRELL JAMES, Louisiana Tech. Softball player makes diving outfield grab.
Judge’s Comments: Is it luck? Is it great timing? Is it camera operator precision? Probably all of the above when the spectacular play is made and someone is there to get it at its right moment. That’s what happened here. Of course the player has to contribute here as well to allow this perfectly framed and focused shot.
2. Gus Stark, LSU. Emotions of Javonte Smart and Arkansas bench contrasting as horn sounds.
3. Raymond Stuart, McNeese. Flying dunk by McNeese player over opponent.
COLLEGE RADIO PLAY-BY-PLAY
1. CHRIS BLAIR, LSU. Football game vs. Florida.
Judge’s Comments: I admit I wasn’t going to listen to part of the national championship playoffs, but this game with Florida may have been one of the more important. Florida about to score to tie, interception, quick LSU drive. Great emotion and crowd noise mixed well. Good cut-ins when allowed by analyst. More importantly, time and score are mentioned enough.
2 Dave Nitz, Louisiana Tech. Independence Bowl.
3. (tie) Tony Taglavore, Northwestern State. Women’s Basketball game vs. Grambling.
3. (tie) Malcolm Butler, Louisiana Tech. Women’s Basketball game vs. Western Kentucky.