2018 Alabama Sports Writers Association award winners

Stacy Long of the Montgomery Advertiser wins ASWA's top writing honor, the Herby Kirby Award

A. Stacy Long the Montgomery Advertiser received the Alabama Sports Writer’s Association’s highest writing award at the association’s 48th annual convention in Tuscaloosa. The award was the first for the Advertiser and first for Long.

The Herby Kirby Award is given in memory of longtime Birmingham Post-Herald sports writer Herby Kirby, who died in the press box after covering Notre Dame's 24-23 national football championship win over Alabama in the 1973 Sugar Bowl.

Long won the Herby Kirby and in the category of Best Sports Story, Writing on a Deadline, Prep or Other Amateur for his story on Alex Wilcox, a Brantley native and Mississippi State softball player who died of ovarian cancer at age 18.

Jeff McIntyre of the Times Daily in Florence was posthumously acknowledged as the winner of the Bill Shelton Award, the ASWA’s professional service award. McIntyre was presented with the award shortly before his death from cancer on June 2. 

Here are the other winners and runners-up for 2018:

Best Sports Story, Writing On A Deadline, Professional Or College Event

Runner Up: Christopher Walsh, SEC Country, Alabama’s stunning win overshadows historical significance of Nick Saban’s sixth title

Winner: Tom Green, AL.com, JaTarvious Whitlow scores decisive touchdown against Washington in memory of late grandmother

Best Sports Story, Writing On A Deadline, Prep Or Other Amateur

Runner Up: David Elwell, the Decatur Daily, Decatur vs. Austin football. The Black Bears opened their new stadium with a 60-45 win over Decatur in the highest scoring game ever in the River City Rivalry

Winner: Daniel Boyette, AL.com, Game story on Hazel Green winning the Class 6A girls basketball state title

Best Column, Four Columns Anytime Of The Year

Runner Up: Josh Bean, AL.com

--It’s a simple question: Did Arab purposefully lose the math?

--Dear Santa: All I want for Christmas is for Auburn to hire Rush Propst as its new offensive coordinator

--The value of a dynamic quarterback is as high as it’s ever been

--The AHSAA followed the letter of the law when imposing a season-long suspension for Miss Basketball

Winner: Christopher Walsh, Bama Central

--'This house represents, to me, a lot more than a gold trophy does’

--Alabama shouldn’t have a Heisman Trophy finalist, it should have two

--Jalen Hurts’ legacy goes way beyond saving Alabama’s season

--Why is Nick Saban going for his 7th national title being overlooked, ignored

Best Football Feature Without A Deadline

Runner Up: Tony Tsoukalas, BamaInsider.com, Crimson clad fans cheering hometown hero Ross Pierschbacher from Cedar Falls, Iowa, will suit up for his final Iron Bowl

Winner: Creg Stephenson, AL.com, Former Alabama quarterback Pat Trammell, 50 years after his death

Best Basketball Feature Without A Deadline

Runner Up: Al Blanton, Hall & Arena, The life of former Alabama basketball star Charles Cleveland

Winner: Christopher Walsh, SEC Country, Ashley Williams’ emotional Alabama journey coming to a close

Best Baseball Feature Without A Deadline

Runner Up: Tom Green, AL.com, Casey Mize’s road to potential No. 1 MLB Draft Pick was 18 years in the making

Winner: Ben Jones, The Tuscaloosa News, Alabama radio play-by-play man for basketball and baseball suffers a stroke and is overwhelmed by the support he receives

Best Softball Feature Without A Deadline

Runner Up: Christopher Walsh, SEC Country, From Cuba to Malaysia, Alabama softball’s Carrigan Fain out to have a ball

Winner: Gregg DeWalt, Times Daily, University of North Alabama softball player recovering from boating accident

Best Golf Story Without A Deadline

Runner Up: Gregg DeWalt, Times Daily, Conner Godsey, 1st year Web.com player

Winner: Joey Chandler, The Tuscaloosa News, A third-grade girl is teeing it up with the high school boys golf team at Tuscaloosa Academy

Best Wrestling and Boxing Feature Without A Deadline

Runner Up: Peter Alan Moss II, Boxingham, Christian Thun: Traveling Man

Winner: Daniel Boyette, AL.com, A look into the world of high school wrestlers strugging to make and cut weight

Best General Sports Feature Without A Deadline

Runner Up: Brandon Marcello, AuburnUndercover, Introducing readers to the first black athletics director in Auburn history, and a man not too familiar with the SEC

Winner: Christopher Walsh, SEC Country, Promises kept, Alabama swimmer Baily Scott set to close Crimson Tide career

Best Enterprise Story

Runner Up: Tom Green, AL.com, 20 years since the last Iron Bowl at Legion Field, the Alabama-Auburn rivalry has forever changed

Winner: Christopher Walsh, SEC Country, The Nick Saban 100: A 5-part examination of his growing coaching tree

Best Investigative Story

Winner: Peter Alan Moss II, Boxingham, Michael Gibbons and his fascination with forks

Breaking News Story

Runner Up: Brandon Marcello, Auburn Undercover, Gus Malzahn’s job was discussed behind the scenes for several weeks

Winner: Brandon Marcello, Auburn Undercover, Auburn athletics director Allen Greene reveals he is working to alleviate burden on Auburn’s football schedule that could move the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry out of the month of November

Best Column or a Feature, Non Daily

Runner Up: Roy Mitchell, Cherokee County Herald, Basic training part of Sand Rock’s offseason

Winner: Arthur L. Mack, Call News, Alabama legend Bennett keeps doing good things in Mobile

Best Game Story, Non Daily

Runner Up: Arthur L. Mack, Call News, St. Pauls’ girls win Class 5A track and field

Winner: Shannon Fagan, Cherokee County Herald, Emotional week culminates with shutout win

Best Headlines

Runner-up: Edwin Stanton, The Tuscaloosa News

--Hawaiian Punch

--Advantage Tuscaloosa

--Give ‘em Hale

--It runs in the family

Winner: Daniel Boyette, AL.com

--Lights, camera, touchdown

--Foray into 5A

--Yellow Jackets pull upset on Valentine’s Day

--1st love and a 2nd chance

Best Sports Layout (Four Sections from anytime in the Year)

Winner: The Tuscaloosa News

--Alabama football wins national championship against Georgia

--Alabama football rivalry with Tennessee taken to new height with viral video

--Alabama running back Damien Harris’ mother has always been a driving force in his life

--Feature on the SEC title game between Alabama and Georgia and how neither team views it as a rematch of the 2017 national title game

Best Supplement or Special Edition

Winner: The Tuscaloosa News, Coaches Paul “Bear” Bryant and Nick Saban and how they are forever linked with Alabama football

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