2010 Better Newspaper Contest — Sports Coverage


Division 2
Dailies 7,000 to 99,999
1. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal — Game Day wrap is packaged very nicely. Lots of info, good use of photos. Thorough high school football package. Layout throughout the section is pleasing to the eye. Great mix on content!
2. Galveston County Daily News — Well-balanced section. Good mix of stories on front. Good use of photos, even smaller ones are very effective.
3. Paris News — Very impressive high school football coverage. Nice mix on stories, photos and stats.
4. Odessa American — Nice mix of stories on front pages and inside. Front-page rail is a good way to get more local content on front. Clean layout and good mix of elements.

Division 3
Dailies Less Than 7,000
1. Brownwood Bulletin — Writing was best in division, especially soccer stories. Layout would be better with On Deck inside the section. Headlines are clear and make sense, something that wasn’t always the case with other entries. Any way to get section front in color?
2. Waxahachie Daily Light — Best photos in division and good use in layouts. More subheads with stories would break up gray copy a little better. Good to get JV in paper. Love invitation to get more student artwork, as well as Inside the Locker Room, to get kids more involved with paper.
3. Plainview Daily Herald — Writing was some of the best in division, but headlines were hit and miss. Great job covering range of sports and including youth activities.
4. San Marcos Daily Record — Love the use of photos with centerpiece stories, but Two Minute Drill on front page is distracting. Stories and pages need a little tighter editing to catch mistakes. Good job mixing high school and college coverage and getting JV and junior high into the paper.

Division 4
Semiweeklies 4,001 or More
1. Wise County Messenger — Great mix of coverage - games stories, features and news. Creative cover on cross country package. Feature story on Sutton really sets it off. Clean design and effective photos, especially cross country cover and news photo. Some pics could have been a little smaller.
2. Bastrop Advertiser — Outstanding range of coverage. Prime Time page works very well - lots of information and easy to read. Solid design and writing throughout.
3. Williamson County Sun — Sports section and front-page section are packaged nicely. Great combination of photos and headlines. Solid design. Lots of elements without seeming too crowded.
4. Boerne Star — Great mix of content - seven different sports on one cover, four on another. Would like to have seen more features, but the game stories are solid and not redundant.

Division 5
Semiweeklies 4,000 or Less
1. Copperas Cove Leader-Press — Very creative leads make the section stand out. Also, strong variety of topics and strong lead photos pull section together. Column also is very effective way to get more local content in paper.
2. Round Rock Leader — Solid mix of content makes for an interesting section. Writing and lead photos are strong and design makes front pages easy to read.
3. Lampasas Dispatch Record — Good mix of content and photos. I like the fact that several sports are featured throughout section. Strong action photography on section fronts.
4. Center Light and Champion — Strong action photos pull section together. Good use of other elements such as standings and schedules.

Division 6
Large Weeklies
1. Lake Travis View — Well done section. Strong coverage of football team, great use of photos (Bob Cooper is good). Nice game-day package on p. 3, lots of info. Also good variety in covering other sports. Ambitious and colorful with solid writing.
2. Rockdale Reporter — Nice design, good use of color, photos. Good variety of coverage, features, columns. Inside pages clean and attractive. Very comprehensive, lots of teams and sports covered.
3. Hays Free Press — Nice clean layout, uncluttered. Lets headlines and photos draw readers. Good use of breakout info boxes. Good writing throughout with leads that draw reader into story. Good variety of sports. Nice photos. Very solid sports section.
4. Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post — Heads cluttered and fail to grab reader. Odd dogleg copy wrap over photo. Big section with lots of coverage and variety. Work on design that highlights what you do well. Lots of photos throughout.

Division 7
Medium Large Weeklies
1. Westlake Picayune — Great photos. Layout clever. Understandable headlines with excellent writing make this entry a clear winner. Great job!
2. Smithville Times — Very good writing and great range of coverage. I suspect every parent loves this sports section!
3. Jasper Newsboy — Writers do a good job of capturing atmosphere and excitement of games. Big, strong photos just add to the great coverage.
4. Alpine Avalanche — Fun pics of ladies on softball team are different than the usual team pics and invite the reader to learn more about the team.

Division 8
Medium Weeklies
1. Hill Country Community Journal — Great layout and photos draw readers in and there is a sport here for everyone! Good job!
2. Springtown Epigraph — Great writing for a large variety of sports. The photos bring home the action.
3. Schulenburg Sticker — Photos pull readers in and deliver on a wide range of coverage. May want to punch up writing a bit with more active writing.
4. Refugio County Press — Good, solid job of covering local sports.

Division 9
Small Medium Weeklies
1. Llano County Journal — Great photos, prominently displayed. Appropriate eye-catching headlines given room to breathe. Writing that delivers on action and interest, and coverage of the whole world of sports. That’s what makes this entry #1. Great job!
2. Pilot Point Post-Signal — A charming lead on the state champs story totally won me over. Great use of photos and white space, too!
3. Albany News — Well written, interesting stories packaged with great photos. Well done!
4. Farmersville Times — When you’ve got good photos, run ‘em big! Which is exactly what this paper does. The headlines are appropriate for stories and treated with importance, not smashed down onto copy and photos. Good job!

Division 10
Small Weeklies
1. Bay Area Citizen — A very solid sports section. From the bold Practice Makes Perfect to the more demure Sports Shorts, the headlines are eye-catching. Fun. The great photos pull readers in and the coverage of all the sports is excellent.
2. Val Alstyne Leader — Great use of photos to tell the story! A very good job of covering many sports.
3. Princeton Herald — Good use of photos and interesting stories that give readers more than just scores and stats.
4. Everman Star — The photos do a good job of engaging the reader. Good, solid writing also makes this entry a winner.