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Shasta County Sports staff honored with four AP Sports Editors national awards

The Shasta County Sports staff took ome four national honors from the Associated Press Sports Editors' 2020 contest.

For the second straight year, the Shasta County Sports staff has been honored nationally, winning four awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors annual contest.

SCS received a second-place finish in the Breaking News category as well as fourth-place honor in the same category, in addition to ninth-place recognition in beat writing. Additionally, the staff was awarded an honorable mention (Top 8) in the digital contest.

Shasta County Sports competed against media outlets in Category D, the smallest 25 percent of APSE members (14,000 and under daily circulation). Winners were recently announced to promote the best sports coverage nationwide in 2020. Shasta County Sports won seven awards across five categories in 2019. The staff entered fewer categories this past year due to the pandemic shuttering sports for nine months in 2020.

However, there was still plenty of to report on, including the two Breaking News awards.

T.J. Holmes and Aaron Williams took second place for their story about Greg Grandell and his staff resigning from the West Valley football program amid hazing allegations. Williams tied for fourth in the Breaking News category for his story that first reported the hazing allegations against Grandell.

“Those stories are never easy to write,” Williams said, “but the level of trust T.J. and I have built over the years, in addition to our experience and presence in the community for the past 20 years, allowed us dive into a touchy subject. Grandell and his staff had trust in us not to sensationalize the story, while also covering all angles to a complex issue.”

Holmes took ninth place in the Beat Writing category, which is a series of articles that shows authoritative, newsy and innovative coverage of that beat. The articles included the second-place article from above on Grandell’s resignation, the game story of Foothill edging Enterprise in the D-III semifinals, an article on how Northern Section ‘mountain schools’ were pushing for a fall football season despite the rest of the state facing restrictions from the state due to the pandemic, an article on NAL aligning with the rest of the CIF, and the Boys Midseason MVP Basketball Watch List.

In addition to the writing awards, the SCS staff’s Digital honorable mention puts them in the Top 8 in the combined C and D classification — the second half of all APSE members based on circulation size. Entries in the Digital contest included postseason awards in football and basketball as well as the basketball’s Mid-Season Watch List.

“These prestigious honors are possible because our SCS crew is respected in the community as an authoritative voice for accurately reporting and telling stories,” Holmes said. “I’m most proud of the work for the Digital Contest because it required well-rounded and valued content that everyone who has helped out with SCS contributed to.

“Every SCS contributor — Tracy Holmes, Mike Daly, Max Keokhamdy, Maddie Harrell, Tony Hord, Tyler Spence, Joseph Shufelberger, Riley Doyle and Brian Wilkes — either works full-time or is a student and does this on their ‘free time’ and still ends up honored among full-time staffers and businesses across the country,” Holmes said.

Shasta County Sports would like to thank its sponsors from 2020. Title/Legend sponsors: Tri Counties Bank, Weaver Lumber and Milgard Windows. Premier sponsors: Redding Rancheria, Shasta Orthopaedics and Kenny Breedlove Realty 110. All-Star-Sponsors: Clear View Auto Glass, Bridgehouse Marketing, HomeLight and Let’s Go Ball.

APSE Winners

Breaking News, 2nd Place (Aaron Williams and T.J. Holmes) —  Greg Grandell and staff resign

Breaking News, 4th Place (tie) (Aaron Williams) — West Valley football program investigated amid hazing allegations

Beat Writing, 9th Place (T.J. Holmes) — Various stories

Digital, Honorable Mention (Staff) — Various projects

Staff Reports is content produced by the Shasta County Sports team.

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