The first was awarded by the South Texas Press Association in April.
The Sweepstakes winner is determined by taking into account all of the awards won by each newspaper in the respective divisions.
Of the 12 different categories, the County Press placed in 10, including five first place plaques, two second places, two third places and one honorable mention.
“Being recognized by peers – the guys and gals who put their heart and soul into newspapers to give the readers the best possible product – is the best acknowledgment for what we do, day in and day out,” said Kenda Nelson, editor. “We enter contests so we can get an idea of our strong points as well as where we can improve. It’s been a good year for the County Press and my staff and I are grateful for the support from our loyal readers and advertisers.”
Nelson won first place awards in feature writing, serious column writing, feature photo and headline writing. Velma Gonzales, press staff, also won a first in feature photo, and columnist Andy Pate won a first in humorous column writing.
Comments from the judge on Nelson’s feature on Jack Sportsman, “Voice of the Bobcats falls silent Friday” in the Nov. 5 issue, included, “Nice tribute to Sportsman. Well written and flows nicely.” In “Paying Tribute: Woodsboro honors soldiers on Memorial Day” in the May 28 issue, the judge said, “Nice imagery in the lead. Great tribute to the veterans.”
In a column written about an illegal immigrant traveling to Florida entitled “Jorge’s Journey,” the judge said, “Your writing pulls the reader in and makes them a part of the story through your eyes. Very nicely done.” In another column paying tribute to Nelson Gillespie, in the July 30 issue, the judge said, “Another great story entry by a gifted writer.”
Andy Pate’s columns on Nicknaming in the Sept. 4 issue and trucks being too big in the Aug. 6 issue drew the following comment: “Catches reader interest immediately. Well written to keep reader interest. Love the examples! Keeps attention and relates to the reader.”
Velma Gonzales’ feature photo of the Woodsboro Back to School Bash – Last Splash of Summer in the Aug. 20 issue, received the comment, “I love the water in this photo. Good close-up.”
In Nelson’s photo, Bidders Battle for Buttercup, the judge said, “Great photo! Can’t tell what’s in the girl’s hand, though.” It was a grooming brush.
Nelson’s three headline entries also won a first, collectively, as the judge commented, “great alliteration.”
In the general excellence category, the judge wrote, “Good job. Readers probably look forward to this paper.”
Nelson’s news photos of the crop tour and harvest during last year’s drought drew the comments, “You can tell the importance and impact of this story in the eyes of the boy... Great visual impact on the severity of the drought.”
Sports coverage also won a second place. The coverage contained photos by Neil Tucker, sports writing by Carl Barnhart and a feature story by Kenda Nelson on Coach Jason Herring’s 100th win. The judge said, “The coach loves his kids! Great photo and exciting 100th win! Good junior varsity coverage as well. Nice color – solid writing. Carl Barnhart is doing a good job for you!”
The County Press also won a second in special section for its Graduation Tab of 2009. “Nice tribute to the class of 2009 – clean layout,” the judge said.
In the display advertising category, the County Press won third place.