2018 California Journalism Awards - Print Division

Sports Feature Story ( Weeklies: 25,001 & over)Back

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: Sacramento News & Review (SN&R)
    Entry Title: Playing through pain
    Entry Credit: Kate Gonzales
    Judge Comment: The lede gets you invested in the story right away, and by the time the writer explains what happened, the reader has already gotten an education on the nuts and bolts of why street soccer is important. Great expository writing with good scenes. It's clear the reporter puts her subjects at ease during interviews, given how open they were for this story, one which uses sports as a lens to a major societal issue, and one of the biggest problems Sacramento faces, which is homelessness.
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: Good Times
    Entry Title: There's a kick to it
    Entry Credit: Lauren Hepler
    Judge Comment: This story is as much about the launching of a semipro soccer team as it is about the man behind it. The writer presents a well-rounded portrait of Roberto Casteneda and how his personal experience shaped his motivations for wanting to help others. It also brings awareness to the challenges of Latino youth in the area. The occasional flare of creative writing is a nice touch -- "navigating a Jenga tower of tenuous relationships" ... "the constellation of under-the-radar clubs"
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: Monterey County Weekly
    Entry Title: Introducing the Monterey Amberjacks
    Entry Credit: Dave Faries
    Judge Comment: The writer touches on some good themes about the human condition, labor laws and passion for sports. The story provides a window into what life is like at the lower levels of the minor leagues, with the quirks of mismatched uniforms and noisy grounds work interrupting practices, as well as the tenuous living situations -- all in the name of baseball.
  • Place Name: Fourth Place
    Contestant Name: Grunion Gazette
    Entry Title: Shampklin Excels Straight to Harvard
    Entry Credit: Mike Guardabascio
    Judge Comment: Good scene-setting lede for this story about a trailblazing student athlete. I would have liked to have read more about his upbringing, or the hardships he and his family have endured -- what made his story stand out to Harvard, and what drives that work ethic?
  • Place Name: Fifth Place
    Contestant Name: Grunion Gazette
    Entry Title: Tragedies Bring Wilson Aquatics Closer
    Entry Credit: JJ Fiddler
    Judge Comment: A good story about a team rallying around one another in the face of grief. I especially was struck by the coach's quote about how it's like growing up in fast forward. I would have liked to have known more about Krueger's relationship with her mother.