2001 Better Newspaper Contest — Sports Coverage

Division 2, Dailies 7,000 to 99,999
1st. The Galveston County Daily News — The features “fastballs and fast foods” and “rodeo drive” make this pair of submissions stand out from the pack (fine writing, great photos, informational and reader friendly.) Even without features a contender for top honors with range of coverage, layout.
2nd. Midland Reporter-Telegram — Based on a limit of two sample issues per category, this submission just misses out on first place but on a day-to-day basis it would appear to be second to none (five separate sports stories, three separate sports photos, excellent layout and range of coverage front to inside).
3rd. Odessa American — Great thrill of victory photos in football and soccer help this submission place. The overall layout is just as impressive as the first and second place winners, and the high content of local stories and stats is equally noticeable.
4th. The Facts, Clute — This submission beat out two or three others for fourth place. It shares many of the winning characteristics with the other top entries, but the quality of writing, especially leads, make these pages stand out.

Division 3, Dailies Less Than 7,000
1st. Texas City Sun — This submission has the best layout in its class, and as a full color production stands above some of the Division 2 publications.
2nd. Waxahachie Daily Light — Like the first place winner, the layout/design stands above the rest of the entries in this category.
3rd. Ennis Daily News — These sports pages are chock full of great articles and photos, and the insert on the ‘75 football champs is a quality edition.
4th. Plainview Daily Herald — The profusion of bylines by the sports editor is eye-catching but the quality of reporting is no less impressive.

Division 4, Semiweeklies 4,001 or +
1st. Williamson County Sun — Top-notch photos, nice graphics. Top 20s for hoops a bit tedious and space-consuming, top 10 would be more meaningful. In “Lady Eagles put on clinic” story, score in headline doesn’t match first graf.
2nd. Hood County News — nice touch, keeping fans apprised of their teams place in the district standing and next game! Leads could use a little more pizzazz.
3rd. Burleson Star — Nicely done sports “page” — too bad no jump for Feb. 2 issue.
4th. Round Rock Leader — T-ball photos were too obscure, could’ve used flash. Cross country results take up too much space. “Sports calendar” items could use short headline. Sept. 7 issue has great color photos, nice five-story layout.

Division 5, Semiweeklies 4,000 or -
1st. Lampasas Dispatch Record — Wow, it’s all here! A nice range of sporting coverage written by folks with talent and professional style rare in a newspaper this size. Well done!
2nd. Andrews County News — Very thorough coverage of what must be a heavy sports area (and it’s not just all football, either!) Good work.
3rd. The Canyon News — Good stuff! Though sometimes the pieces degenerate into statistic reporting, the stories (in particular these by Tim Ritter and Rachel McGuire) were interesting and tight-knit while making good use of often-tepid quotes from sports figures. The “sports beat” section is also a good idea, though not enough color commentary runs there in these issues.
4th. The Clifton Record — The best photography I’ve seen in this category! Kudos to Smith and Moulton, who deserve to have their photos large and in color! The writing here reads smoothly and is concise.

Division 6, Weeklies 3,001 or More
1st. Park Cities People — The total package. Magnificent photos coupled with snappy headlines and knowledgeable, passionate writing for a standout sports section.
2nd. DeSoto Today — Baseball preview especially excellent. Beautiful design! Writing is deft, but range of coverage and other elements make this paper a standout.
3rd. Fredericksburg Standard/Radio Post — Smart, conservative design adds flair to excellent writing and range of coverage.
4th. Lake Travis View — Solid sports writing, predictable design. Football stats/standings a real plus.

Division 7, Weeklies, 2,001 to 3,000
1st. Duncanville Today — Breakdown of hockey costs in March 9 issue was nice touch. Parents gotta love National Signing Day spread on Feb. 10, too bad your ad dept. Couldn’t get Bic or some pen company to sponsor it. Page 1 soccer story timely, too, in Feb. 10 issues. Hands-down, no-contest first-place winner!
2nd. Pilot Point Post Signal — Nicely done Sports section! Good lead grafs attract further reading.
3rd. The Diboll Free Press — Maybe (?) too many track photos in April 20 issue but overall a good product.
4th. Schulenburg Sticker — Feb. 10 issue could have used a baseball or softball photo, or both, to break up gray area. I’m pretty sure Jeremy Glass doesn’t have a patent on baseline drives — they’re pretty commonplace (Feb. 24, page 1). Overall, you battled for fourth place ... and sneaked in!

Division 8, Weeklies 1,201 to 2,000
1st. The Alvin Sun — Nice blend of game photos, mugs in Feb. 13 issue. Collins/Wilson good duo for effective game coverage. Easily one of the best newspapers in this division!
2nd. Little Elm Journal — Nicely done Sports page. I’d lose the “Reavis” column, unless shotgun drivel is sports related.
3rd. Springtown Epigraph — Work on jargon — volleyball teams play matches, as in “the Lady Porcupine volleyball team played just two MATCHES in a seven-day span...” Archrival is one word; and in “Porky’s grab 2...wins,” Feb. 3 issue, no score is given for game vs. Azle. Not to mention other game’s score was at the end f fourth graf!
4th. Midlothian Today — Pretty standard section, could use some feature writing.

Division 9, Weeklies 1,200 or Less
1st. Martin County Messenger — Football preview issue carried you to the win. Game stories of Feb. 17 should carry bylines, don’t you think? And photo supplied for Lady Cats story should be courtesy of the coach, not “compliments of.”
2nd. Cass County Sun, Linden — Lose dates mentioned in stories — use days instead, like “last Friday,” “Saturday,” etc. At least you didn’t include 2000, and another newspaper in your division did! Some leads could use some punching up — generally those “Sun staff report” items, which are pretty bland.
3rd. The Freer Press — Pretty basic stuff but one of top five in division.
4th. Burnet County Citizens Gazette — Rather drab football game story in Sept. 13 issue; you don’t bust one “for paydirt,” rather “to paydirt,” and it’s “nail in a coffin,” not “on the coffin.” Could you use more cliches? (Probably.) No byline...no wonder.