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Sportswriters honored with Excellence in Journalism awards at Connecticut SPJ dinner

NEW HAVEN, May 26, 2016 -- The Connecticut chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) held its annual 2015 awards banquet on Thursday night, presenting their Excellence in Journalism awards. Below are the winners in sports, including the Alliance's own Jimmy Zanor of the Middletown Press and Gerry deSimas of the Collinsville Press. Jimmy won two first place awards for news writing and column writing. Congratulations to all sportwriters and photographers across the state on your award-winning work.



1) New Canaan girl ousted from softball tournament because she’s too young,, Michael Dinan

2) Warriors dedicate double OT win to Coach King, Valley Courier, Brett Selmont

3) Whale capture initial NWHL contest in front of loud, energetic sellout crowd, Collinsville, Gerry deSimas, Jr.


1) Berlin High football coach recruited New Britain players, records allege, Hartford Courant, Matthew Kauffman and Tom Yantz

2) For UConn, a hard loss to swallow, Hartford Courant, Dom Amore

3) Under World Series glare, things turn sour for Mets in game 4, Hartford Courant, Dom Amore


1) Deaths no deterrent to playing football, Norwich Bulletin, Marc Allard


1) Wesleyan captures second straight NESCAC baseball crown, Middletown Press, Jimmy Zanor

2) More than 1,200 run in Middletown Half Marathon and Legends Run, Middletown Press, Derek Carl Turner

3) Wesleyan claims victory on historic night, Middletown Press, Jimmy Zanor

REGIONAL D (Broadcast)

1) Rise to the top, News 12, Kristi Olds, Jim Mennino

2) Skate like a girl, News 12, Ted Koppy, Christopher Wood



1) Special on and off the field, Greenwich Time, David Fierro


1) Strong enough to lift a team, Hartford Courant, Jeff Jacobs

2) For Mets Terry Collins, a dream come true, Hartford Courant, Dom Amore

3) Ryan Boatright’s buzzer beater lifts UConn over Cincinnati, New Haven Register, Dave Borges


1) Always a champion in Portland, Middletown Press, Jimmy Zanor



1) Changing the culture, Darien News, Anthony E. Parelli

2) Wrestlers aim high as new season approaches, New Haven Independent, Sandra Gomez Aceves and Allaysia Varnado

3) ‘Complete your path’: New Canaan football’s Jarrett Torromeo,, Terry Dinan


1) Long memory for baseball, Hartford Courant, Dom Amore

2) Amida Brimah's long journey from Ghana to UConn, Hartford Courant, Dom Amore

3) Team intensity, Hartford Courant, Tom Yantz


1) For Westhill football player, it's about heart....and a new kidney, Stamford Advocate, Scott Ericson

2) Berra became a heavy hitter playing for sub base in 1945, The Day, John Ruddy

3) To run like Keith, The Day, Vickie Fulkerson


1) Middletown Half Marathon and Legends Four Mile Run slated for Sunday, Middletown Press, Derek Carl Turner

REGIONAL D (Broadcast)

1) The journey, News 12 Christopher Wood, Damien Andrew

2) Privilege to play, News 12, Andrew Hurley, Kristi Olds

3) Like a pro, News 12, Frank Recchia, John Dempsey



1) 'Smoking Glove': New Canaan Rams catcher Zack Smith behind the plate,, Terry Dinan

2) The last leg, The Source, Kelley Fryer

3) I got this, Branford Eagle, Bill O'Brien


1) Friday night flights, Hartford Courant, Mark Mirko

2) Incomplete, Hartford Courant, John Woike

3) Triple teamed, Hartford Courant, Cloe Poisson


1) Cheerleader talent, News Times, Carol Kaliff

2) Pride rally in 2nd half, Norwich Bulletin, John Shishmanian

3) Wrestling, News Times, H. John Voorhees

For the 2015 contest, the SPJ made new categories for media.

Regional A: Any publication that covers more than five towns and statewide issues on a regular basis. Category A is for larger news organizations with more resources, including number of journalists and staff experience.

Media outlets (examples): Hartford Courant, CT Mirror, Connecticut Post, New Haven Register, Connecticut Magazine, Waterbury Republican American, Connecticut Health Investigative Team, New Haven Living and Hartford Magazine and Hearst Connecticut or Digital First collaboration entries, including any work done by the centralized copy editing desks.

Regional B: Any publication that covers more than five towns and statewide issues on a regular basis. Category B is for medium news organizations with fewer resources than Category A, including number of journalists and staff experience.

Media outlets (examples): Danbury News-Times, Meriden Record Journal, Norwich Bulletin, Manchester Journal-Inquirer, CTNewsJunkie, Stamford Advocate, Connecticut Law Tribune, Raising Hale

Regional C: Any publication that covers more than five towns and statewide issues on a regular basis. Category C is for smaller news organizations with fewer resources, including number of journalists and staff experience, than Regional B.

Media outlets (examples): Greater New Milford Spectrum, The Chronicle, Litchfield County Times, Catholic Transcript, AAA Journeys, The Hour, New Britain Herald, Middletown Press, Register Citizen, CT Latino News

Regional D: Any broadcast station that covers more than five towns and statewide issues on a regular basis.

Media outlets (examples): WTNH, WFSB, WTIC, WNPR, WSHU, News12

Hyperlocal: Any news organization that covers no more than five towns.

Media outlets (examples): Branford Eagle,, Hersam Acorn weeklies, Shoreline Publications weeklies, Citizens News, It’, Valley Independent Sentinel, New Haven Independent, Guilford Courier, Collinsville, East Haven Courier, Fairfield Life Magazine, Greenwich Time, Life Publications, New Britain City Journal, New Canaan News, Seasons Magazine, Valley Courier, West Hartford News,, The Daily Voice

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