The honors included nine writing awards and three more for the overall section.
“It is always nice to be recognized by your peers,” MDJ Sports Editor John Bednarowski said. “The fact that nearly everyone in the department was recognized this year points to the strength of our staff. But while it is nice to be honored, what we hope we are doing on a daily basis is making sure our readers continue to get a quality product when they pick up a copy of the paper. Our readers are what make the awards possible.”
Adam Carrington earned a first place award for best high school event story on deadline. The story was about Pope’s 27-24 victory over Osborne in double overtime, which included a power outage and a trip from Cardinal Stadium to South Cobb’s Clay Stadium to finish the game.
Greg Oshust won first place for best high school feature story on South Cobb assistant basketball coach John Kelly battle against cancer. He also earned a third place award in the outdoor writing category for his story on Thomas Carroll’s return to competitive running.
William Bretherton earned a second place award in the sports news story on deadline for his story on former North Cobb baseball star Johnathan Taylor being drafted by the Texas Rangers. Taylor was drafted despite being paralyzed following an outfield collision while he was playing at the University of Georgia.
The remaining writing awards went to sports editor John Bednarowski. He swept the best column category winning first place for his column on former McEachern football player Rajaan Bennett having a bench dedicated in his memory in downtown Powder Springs. He earned second place for a column on former Harrison and current Georgia Tech golfer Ollie Schniederjans’ attempt to qualify for the 2011 U.S. Open. And Bednarowski claimed third place for his column on former Pope and then University of Georgia basketball player Matt Bucklin and his knowledge of the NCAA Final Four through his relationship with his uncle, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo.
Bednarowski also earned second place honors as the state’s best columnist and a third place award for best college news story on deadline for Kennesaw State’s hiring of athletic director Vaughn Williams.
Of the three section awards, the MDJ sports department earned on first place award, taking the honors for best special section, for Kickoff 2011, the 96-page high school football preview issue.
The MDJ also won a pair of third place recognitions for best sports section and best Sunday sports section.