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Connecticut Chapter of SPJ announces 2022 Excellence in Journalism winners

Connecticut Sports Media Alliance

The Connecticut chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists recently announced the winners of their annual Excellence in Journalism competition for stories, photos and content produced in 2022.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., a member of the Connecticut Sports Media Alliance, won two first place awards in the Sports News competition. He won a first place in Regional B, which includes smaller newspapers and larger websites from around the state, for the story on the Connecticut Sun rallying to beat the Chicago Sky in game 5 and earn a spot in the 2022 WNBA finals. He also won first place in the hyperlocal category for his story on the Avon High football team forcing a turnover and scoring a touchdown in the final three minutes to beat Lewis Mills, 26-25.

All the sports-related awards are listed below.

Sports-related awards in the 2022 Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) writing and photography contest.

Sports Column

Regional A

First Place: UConn’s special fan; Hearst CT Media; Mike Anthony

Third Place: Video of a tragedy highlights need for openness; Hearst CT Media; Jeff Jacobs

Regional B

First Place: The ruin of college football; Greenwich Time; David Rafferty

Second Place: A new pitch for baseball; Greenwich Time; David Rafferty


First Place: CT still loves the Whalers; Connecticut Magazine; David Holahan

Sports Feature

Regional A

First Place: UConn’s reluctant star; Hearst CT Media; Maggie Vanoni

Third Place: Introducing the Hartford Braillers; Hartford Courant; Dom Amore

Regional B


First Place: Two lives well lived- Coach Profetto & Rose; Easton Courier; Bruce Nelson


First Place: Middletown’s little known baseball team; Connecticut Magazine; Christopher Hoffman

Second Place: En garde: SImsbury's unique fencing team; Today Magazine; Bruce Deckert


First Place: Tyler Kolek meets Tyler Kolek; NBC Connecticut; Matt Finkel

Second Place: Back on track; News 12; Jim Mennino, Marissa Alter

Sports News

Regional A

First Place: Roster movement and the WNBA; Hearst CT Media; Maggie Vanoni

Third Place: Brittney Griner’s detainment in Russia reaches 150-day mark; Hartford Courant; Lila Bromberg

Regional B

First Place: Historic finish lifts Connecticut past Sky and into WNBA finals;; Gerry deSimas, Jr.


First Place: Falcons force turnover, score TD in final three minutes to beat Mills, 26-25;; Gerry deSimas, Jr.

Second Place: JBWA hockey wins conference championship; Easton Courier; Madison Tomas, Ann Marie Somma

Third Place: All eyes on Matt Scott as Barlow takes down Westhill in season opener; Easton Courier; Robert Finzio, Ann Marie Somma

Sports Photo

Regional A

First Place: Little players; New Haven Register; Arnold Gold

Second Place: Leaping coach; Hearst CT Media; Dave Stewart

Third Place: Wheelchair basketball; New Haven Register; Arnold Gold

Regional B

First Place: Taking a field hockey shot for a cause; Record-Journal; Dave Zajac

Second Place: Slamming home the first dunk of the night; Record-Journal; Dave Zajac


First Place: Victory under a harvest moon; Guilford Courier; Wesley Bunnell

Second Place: Major leagues prospect Matt Scott delivers a pitch for Joel Barlow Falcons; Easton Courier; Robert Finizio


First Place: UConn wins in double overtime; WNPR; Joe Amon


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