The Sun-Gazette's daily sports section was named one of the nation's 10 best in its circulation category at the 2012 Associated Press Sports Editors contest this past week.
In addition, Sun-Gazette sports writer Mitch Rupert placed in the top 10 for feature story in the Sun-Gazette's category of under 30,000 average daily circulation.
Section judging was based on four section entries. Two were optional dates chosen by the newspaper and two were mandatory dates randomly chosen by the contest from 2011. All contest entries were judged by APSE member sports editors from across the country from news organizations of all sizes at the APSE winter convention Feb. 18-22 in Orlando, Fla.
"We always strive to provide the best local sports coverage in central Pennsylvania. This award is a great honor and I am very proud of our staff. The long-term success of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette is built on the foundation of delivering the best local news, local sports and local value to our readers." said Sun-Gazette publisher, Bernard A. Oravec.
"I am so proud of what our sports staff accomplishes every day," said Sun-Gazette Editor David F. Troisi. "This recognition is well-deserved and hard-earned."
"These awards show that we've built upon our previous good work. Recognition from our known peers is the most rewarding to many of us in sports journalism," said Sun-Gazette sports editor Ben Brigandi, who also serves as APSE's third vice-president.
The first optional date was Tuesday, Aug. 10, which covered part of the Babe Ruth Mid-Atlantic baseball regional held in the city, and included a follow-up story by Rupert on a overnight bus crash involving the Williamsport Crosscutters during a New York City road trip.
The second optional date was Saturday, Aug. 21, which covered Keystone's first game at the Little League World Series.
The two mandatory dates were Monday, May 23, which contained a look ahead to the District 4 baseball and softball playoffs, and Friday, Nov. 4, which contained End Zone Extra to preview high school football plus District 4 soccer playoff coverage.
Rupert's Crosscutters bus crash story earned him the Top 10 features award. Final numerical rankings for the APSE writing contests will be released later this spring. Sections are not ranked numerically.
This is the second consecutive year that the Sun-Gazette's sports staff has earned national APSE recognition. The Sunday section won honorable mention honors and Rupert placed in the Top 10 for game story writing for work in 2010.
"We believe that every game, no matter how small, from developmental pee wee leagues to high school, is a 'big game' to someone. Our sports reporters understand this and take pride in preserving these special memories for a lifetime." concludes Bernard A. Oravec, Sun-Gazette publisher.