The sports section of The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette was recognized in two of the three "triple crown" categories in the Associated Press Sports Editors' annual contest, and members of the sports staff also earned three writing awards in results released during the judging convention this week in Indianapolis.
The Packet and Gazette earned top-10 honors in the under-30,000 circulation category for their Sunday sports section and their special section previewing the Heritage golf tournament. The national contest recognizes 20 newspapers in each circulation category for daily section, Sunday section and special section, with half earning top-10 status and half earning honorable mention.
In addition, reporter Sam McDowell and sports editor Justin Jarrett received a top-10 honor in explanatory writing for their report on allegations of athletic recruiting by Hilton Head Prep and the statewide issue of athletic recruiting by private schools.
Jarrett also was honored in the game stories category for his coverage of the final round of the 2010 Masters, as well as the breaking news category for his reporting on Joni Colburn's decision to step down as Hilton Head Christian Academy's girls basketball coach while her husband, Steve, battles cancer.
In the writing contests, the top 10 stories are recognized during preliminary judging. A second panel reviews the winners and ranks the top five stories, with the remaining five earning honorable mention. APSE will release those rankings next month.