Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association Contest Award Winners

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association has announced the results of its annual writing and photography contest following the association’s annual meeting last Thursday. Writer of the Year honors went to Jeff Gilbert of the Dayton Daily News, Rob McCurdy of the Marion Star and Todd Stumpf of the Medina Weekly News.

The contest included submissions from the 2023 calendar year and was judged by OPSWA members. There were four writing categories in three divisions based on circulation size. Each category was judged by two members from another division. Writers and photographers were judged on a body of work that included three submissions per category.

OPSWA membership now stands at 218 writers and photographers around the state. Founded in 1972, the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association works to support and enhance the coverage of high school sports in Ohio and to recognize superior writing among sports journalists. In 2010, the OPSWA partnered with the Ohio High School Athletic Association to create a website, establish electronic communications and increase its membership and recognition.

The OPSWA website is located at http://www.ohsaa.org/news/OPSWA and includes the membership directory, officers information, hall of fame inductees and other updates.

2023 OPSWA SPORTSWRITERS OF THE YEAR

DIVISION 1 – Jeff Gilbert, Dayton Daily News

DIVISION 2-3 (Combined) – Rob McCurdy, Marion Star  

DIVISION 4 – Todd Stumpf, Medina Weekly

2023 OPSWA Writing Contest, Division and Category Results

Number of placers dependent on number of entries in each category.

Division 1 – Daily Circulation over 10,000 and Websites

Division 1, Game Stories

1. Jeff Gilbert, Dayton Daily News

Tie-2. Aaron Blankenship, SB Live Sports

Tie-2. Curt Conrad, Richland Source

Tie-4. John Kampf, Willoughby News-Herald

Tie-4. Chris Lillstrung, Willoughby News-Herald  

Division 1, News Stories

1. Jake Furr, Mansfield News Journal

2. Aaron Blankenship, SB Live Sports

3. Jeff Gilbert, Dayton Daily News

Tie-4. Rick Cassano, Southwest Ohio Sports Daily

Tie-4. Chris Lillstrung, Willoughby News-Herald

Tie-4. Tom Nader, Portage Sports

Division 1, Feature Stories

1. Dave Purpura, Columbus Dispatch

2. Jeff Gilbert, Dayton Daily News

Tie-3. Ryan Isley, SB Live

Tie-3. James Weber, Cincinnati Enquirer

Tie-5. Shelby Dermer, Cincinnati Enquirer

Tie-5. John Kampf, Willoughby News-Herald  

Tie-5. Chris Lillstrung, Willoughby News-Herald

Division 1, Columns

1. Curt Conrad, Richland Source

2. Jake Furr, Mansfield News Journal  

3. Chris Lillstrung, Willoughby News-Herald

Division 1 Writer of the Year: Jeff Gilbert, Dayton Daily News (13 points)

     Runner-up: Jake Furr, Mansfield News Journal (10 points) 

Division 2-3 (combined) – All Other Daily Newspapers (4+ Editions Per Week)

Division 2, Game Stories

1. Tom Wilson, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette

2. Rob McCurdy, Marion Star

3. Matt Horn, Fremont News-Messenger

4. Jonah Levin-Rosenblum, Ravenna Record-Courier

5. Dave Hanneman, Findlay Courier   

Division 2, News Stories

1. Rob McCurdy, Marion Star

2. Mark Hazelwood, Norwalk Reflector

3. Zachary Holden, Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum

4. Lonnie McMillen, Upper Sandusky Daily Chief Union

Division 2, Feature Stories

1. Jonah Levin-Rosenblum, Ravenna Record-Courier

2. Rob McCurdy, Marion Star

3. Rick Noland, Medina Gazette

4. Lonnie McMillen, Upper Sandusky Daily Chief Union

5. Michael Cooper, Springfield News-Sun

Division 2, Columns

1. Matt Horn, Fremont News-Messenger

2. Rob McCurdy, Marion Star

3. Mark Hazelwood, Norwalk Reflector

Division 2 Writer of the Year: Rob McCurdy, Marion Star (18 points)

     Runner-up: Matt Horn, Fremont News-Messenger (9 points)

Division 4 – Non-Daily Newspapers and Specialty Publications 

Division 4, Game Stories

1. Derrick Webb, Southern Ohio Sports Authority  

2. Todd Stumpf, Medina Weekly

3. Steven Wright, Xenia Daily Gazette

Division 4, News Stories

1. Todd Stumpf, Medina Weekly

2. Keith Spare, Morgan County Herald

3. Julie Billings, Pike County News Watchman

Division 4, Feature Stories

1. Julie Billings, Pike County News Watchman

2. Brock Netter, Southern Ohio Sports Authority 

3. Chris Vogt, Butler County HS Sports Report 

4. Stephen Forsha, Highland County Press

Division 4, Columns

1. Derrick Webb, Southern Ohio Sports Authority 

2. Todd Stumpf, Medina Weekly

3. Steven Wright, Xenia Daily Gazette

Division 4 Writer of the Year: Todd Stumpf, Medina Weekly(14 points)

     Runner-up: Derrick Webb, Southern Ohio Sports Authority (12 point)

Action Photography Contest

1. Tim Phillis, Willoughby News-Herald

2. Michael Cooper, Dayton Daily News

3. Derrick Webb, Southern Ohio Sports Authority

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