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Sunday August 25th, 2019 11:22PM

Boyette, Page, Fernsler capture top GSWA writing awards

By The Associated Press

SNELLVILLE, Ga. (AP) — John Boyette of The Augusta Chronicle, former Athens Banner-Herald sports editor Fletcher Page and Chris Fernsler of the Troup County News won the top awards in the Georgia Sports Writer Association contest announced Sunday.

Boyette captured the Sweepstakes Award for the top overall story in Division I for his report on Kevin Kisner's Masters debut in 2016.

Page, who now works for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, was honored in Division II for his story on Karl Smart, the brother of Georgia football coach Kirby Smart.

The sweepstakes award in Division III went to Fernsler for his report on Woodmen Life's soccer victory over the Blue Sharks.

In the sports section awards, The Augusta Chronicle swept Division I honors for top sports section, Sunday section and special section.

The Marietta Journal Daily did the same in Division II, while the Douglas County Sentinel was picked as top section and special section in Division III.

Here are the winners in the 2016 Georgia Sports Writers Association contest, who were recognized at the organization's annual meeting in Snellville:

DIVISION I

Best Event Story On Deadline (Pro/College Sports)

1. Jason Butt, The Telegraph (Georgia-Tennessee football game)

2. Nathan Deen, Savannah Morning News (Eagles win on sack, blocked field goal)

3. Daniel Shirley, The Telegraph (Mercer-Furman game)

Best Event Story On Deadline (High School Sports)

1. Ron Seibel, The Telegraph (Mary Persons thrilling win)

2. Dennis Knight, Savannah Morning News (Jenkins wins one for "Smitty")

3. Dennis Knight, Savannah Morning News (Benedictine beats Fitzgerald for title)

Best Sports News Story On Deadline (Pro/College Sports)

1. Nathan Deen, Savannah Morning News (Former Georgia Southern star dies in car wreck)

2. John Boyette, The Augusta Chronicle (Arnold Palmer obituary)

3. Daniel Shirley, The Telegraph (Mercer's Kyle Lewis first round pick)

Best Sports News Story On Deadline (High School Sports)

1. Ron Seibel, The Telegraph (GHSA basketball issues)

Best Feature Or Series, Non-Deadline (Pro/College Sports)

1. John Boyette, The Augusta Chronicle (Kevin Kisner makes Masters debut)

2. Nathan Deen, Savannah Morning News (Erk Russell legacy lives on at Southern)

3. (tie) Jason Butt, The Telegraph (Devon Gales' update)

3. (tie) Jason Butt, The Telegraph (Chauncey Rivers' second chance)

3. (tie) Stan Awtrey, Golf Georgia (Former Augusta National pro Ed Dudley)

Best Feature Or Series, Non-Deadline (High School Sports)

1. Jason Butt, The Telegraph, Houston County QB Jake Fromm)

2. Ron Seibel, The Telegraph (Goals issues of GHSA basketball finals)

3. Dennis Knight, Savannah Morning News (Bell in the family)

Best Column

1. Nathan Deen, Savannah Morning News (No sold on Smart)

2. Daniel Shirley, The Telegraph (Georgia's FOI changes)

3. Nathan Dominitz, Savannah Morning News (Gold medal stolen, Olympian looks at positives)

Best Columnist

1. Nathan Deen, Savannah Morning News

2. Nathan Dominitz, Savannah Morning News

3. Daniel Shirley, The Telegraph

Outdoors Writing/Amateur Non-Scholastic Sports

1. Stan Awtrey, Atlanta-Journal Constitution (Albany teenager wins state amateur title)

Best Sports Section

1. The Augusta Chronicle

2. Savannah Morning News

3. The Telegraph

Best Sunday Sports Section

1. The Augusta Chronicle

2. Savannah Morning News

3. The Telegraph

Best Special Section

1. The Augusta Chronicle (Masters 2016)

2. Savannah Morning News (2016 Prep Guide)

3. The Telegraph (High School Football 2016)

Sweepstakes Award (Best overall story from all categories)

John Boyette, The Augusta Chronicle (Kevin Kisner makes Masters debut)

___

DIVISION II

Best Event Story On Deadline (Pro/College Sports)

1. Paul Thomas, Gwinnett Daily Post (Willett wins Masters)

2. David Friedlander, Gwinnett Daily Post (G-Braves break up no-hit bid)

3. Christine Troyke, Gwinnett Daily Post (McIntyre makes 36 saves)

Best Event Story On Deadline (High School Sports)

1. Will Hammock, Gwinnett Daily Post (Mountain View earns signature win)

2. Tony Maluso, Dalton Daily Citizen (Dalton swimming finished 4th in state)

3. Tony Maluso, Dalton Daily Citizen (Murray County football wins thriller)

Best Sports News Story On Deadline (Pro/College Sports)

1. Paul Thomas, Gwinnett Daily Post (Jim Herman on his Masters dream)

2. (tie) Michael Niziolek, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Javon Robinson)

2. (tie) Will Hammock, Gwinnett Daily Post (Coughlin sounds off on Weir's Olympic relay)

3. (tie) Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner Herald (Jonathan Ledbetter arrested for DUI)

3. (tie) Christine Troyke, Gwinnett Daily Post (Gladiators hire Nathan Oystric)

Best Sports News Story On Deadline (High School Sports)

1. John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal (GHSA taking hoops title on the road)

2. Will Hammock, Gwinnett Daily Post (Jess Simpson resigns at Buford High)

3. John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal (GHSA: baskets in wrong position)

Best Feature Or Series, Non-Deadline (Pro/College Sports)

1. Fletcher Page, Athens Banner Herald (Karl Smart, Kirby's brother)

2. Michael Niziolek, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Kamryn Pettway)

3. Carlton D. White, Marietta Daily Journal (Dansby makes debut)

Best Feature Or Series, Non-Deadline (High School Sports)

1. David Mitchell, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Carver baseball)

2. Nicole Saavedra, Athens Banner Herald (Path for Cedar Shoals coach Dreco Thomas)

3. (tie) Carton D. White, Marietta Daily Journal (Barnhill qualifies for Team USA)

3. (tie) Paul Thomas, Gwinnett Daily Post (Soccer is family tradition for Elexa Bahr)

Best Column

1. Fletcher Page, Athens Banner-Herald (Clarke Central football coach David Perno)

2. John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal (Morgan brings business-like approach)

3. Will Hammock, Gwinnett Daily Post (Bringing Francoeur back to Braves)

Best Columnist

1. John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal

2. Loran Smith, Athens Banner-Herald

3. John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal

Outdoors Writing/Amateur Non-Scholastic Sports

1. Christine Troyke, Gwinnett Daily Post (Mele makes meteoric rise in powerlifting)

2. Will Hammock, Gwinnett Daily Post (Granger fights off cancer for swim fundraiser)

3. (tie) Adam Carrington, Marietta Daily Journal (Playing with Uncle Luke)

3. (tie) Paul Thomas, Gwinnett Daily Post (North Gwinnett's Aboneaaj in World Lacrosse)

Best Sports Section

1. Marietta Daily Journal

2. Gwinnett Daily Post

3. Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Best Sunday Sports Section

1. Marietta Daily Journal

2. Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

3. Gwinnett Daily Post

Best Special Section

1. Marietta Daily Journal (Kickoff 2016)

2. Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Kickoff)

3. Gwinnett Daily Post (Gametime)

Sweepstakes Award (Best overall story from all categories)

1. Fletcher Page, Athens Banner Herald (Karl Smart, Kirby's brother)

___

DIVISION III

Best Local Event Story

1. Chris Fernsler, Troup County News (Woodmen Life reels in blue sharks)

2. Chris Fernsler, Troup County News (Lee delivers for state champion Cougars)

3. Chris Fernsler, Troup County News (Lafayette claims region championship)

Best Local News Story

1. Chris Fernsler, Troup County News (Yuletide greetings include 35 stripers)

2. Chris Fernsler, Troup County News (Shepherd signs with Chattanooga)

3. Derrick Mahone, Douglas County Sentinel (Kristi Castlin makes Olympic track team)

Best Local Feature Story

1. Chris Fernsler, Troup County News (Prep football standout works his way up)

2. Chris Fernsler, Troup County News (Pacelli twins making waves in swimming)

3. Derrick Mahone, Douglas County Sentinel (D.J. Avery overcomes loss of mother)

Best Column

1. Derrick Mahone, Douglas County Sentinel (Kristi Castlin wins Olympic bronze)

Best Photo

1. Duane H. Winn, The Toccoa Record (Celebration at home)

2. Duane H. Winn, The Toccoa Record (Little league parade)

3. Chris Fernsler, Troup County News (LaGrange youth football)

Best Sports Section

1. Douglas County Sentinel

Best Special Section

1. Douglas County Sentinel

Sweepstakes Award (Best overall story from all categories)

Chris Fernsler, Troup County News (Woodmen Life reels in blue sharks)

___

JUDGES:

Vahe Gregorian, Kansas City Star; Rick Cleveland, former sports editor, Jackson Clarion Ledger; Tom Murphy, Arkansas beat writer, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Lee Feinswog, former sports writer, Winston-Salem Journal and Baton Rouge Advocate.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Online Basketball, College Sports, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - College Football, AP Sports - Women's College Basketball
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