Stories on pandemic, Black coaches, among AP award winners

FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2020, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce, left, celebrates with head coach Andy Reid after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game in Miami Gardens, Fla. The photo was part of a series of images by photographer David J. Phillip which won the Thomas V. diLustro best portfolio award for 2020 given out by the Associated Press Sports Editors during their annual winter meeting. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2020, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce, left, celebrates with head coach Andy Reid after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game in Miami Gardens, Fla. The photo was part of a series of images by photographer David J. Phillip which won the Thomas V. diLustro best portfolio award for 2020 given out by the Associated Press Sports Editors during their annual winter meeting. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Credit: David J. Phillip

Credit: David J. Phillip

Well-reported stories on a wide-range of topics from the pandemic, plight of Black coaches and insightful human interest features stood out in the annual contest for AP staffers judged by the Associated Press Sports Editors

Well-reported stories on a wide-range of topics from the pandemic, plight of Black coaches and insightful human interest features stood out in the annual contest for AP staffers judged by the Associated Press Sports Editors.

Judges praised reporters for their investigative reporting, ability to find off-the-beaten path features on major events and knowledge of their beats.

This year’s winners: Associated Press columnist Paul Newberry, Story of the Year; AP National Writer Eddie Pells, Grimsley Award; AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds, Deadline Writing; AP Sports Writer Michael Marot; Feature Writing and members of the AP Sports Staff were recognized for their contributions in the NFL 100 series that won the Package of the Year Award.

The judges said while college football has become essential to America's higher education system perhaps the most uncomfortable issue is the plight of Black coaches, who deal with obstacles that never go away, but are often forgotten by the general public for long periods of time. The judges said Newberry's " timely piece elegantly analyzed the issue again months before the country's problems with overall racial equality again erupted."

Pells won the Grimsley Award with an entry judges said was "filled with a well-reported variety of stories, ranging from investigative pieces to off-the-beaten-path features on big events where new angles are hard to find."

Reynolds won Deadline Writing honors for his story: " Lakers win NBA title."

The judges said, “A lot of ground was covered here -- on deadline -- to put a bow on possibly the league and its storied franchise that collectively experienced some of the most ups and downs during the rollercoaster of a year that was 2020."

Marot won Feature Writing for his story: " Speedway Graduation."

The judges praised Marot for finding and reporting a story that “in a year full of big-picture storylines that have led to significant transitions in our society, the reporter found one small, heartwarming and hopeful moment inside one of America’s best-know sports venues about a family and community just trying to get to the next day of life."

Package of the Year honors went to the sports staff's efforts on the NFL At 100 series — a season package of stories, polls, videos and photos, taking advantage of AP archives and new content submitted on behalf of the staff by NFL Writer Barry Wilner.

“Through a spring and summer that will mainly be remembered in the sports world for what didn’t happen," the judges said, “this series of stories and multimedia gave readers around the country a chance to escape into how a century of professional football has helped shaped the American society."

Winners in the AP photo contest categories were:

— Action Category: Antonio Calanni for his photo of Bologna’s Takehiro Tomiyasu and Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku fighting for the ball during a Series A soccer match between Inter Milan and Bologna.

The judges said Calanni captured “so many things happening in so many places -- all on one frame.."

— Feature Cateory: Mark J. Terrill for his photo of Los Angeles Lakers’ star LeBron James celebrating with his teammates after the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat 106-93 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

The judges noted that Terrill's photo had a “great feel of thrill, joy and relief after the most unusual NBA season in some time."

— Thomas V. diLustro Portfolio: David J. Phillip for his photos that included the college football national championship game, the 49ers Super Bowl win, the Masters, the World Series and the U.S. Women’s Open golf championship.

The judges were impressed with Phillip's range of photos, saying “the photographer captured a full variety of happenings of the 2020 world of sports in a dozen shots"

FILE - In this June 12, 2020, file photo, Harold Varner III tees off at the 11th hole during the second round of the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. The photo was part of a series of images by photographer David J. Phillip which won the Thomas V. diLustro best portfolio award for 2020 given out by the Associated Press Sports Editors during their annual winter meeting. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
FILE - In this June 12, 2020, file photo, Harold Varner III tees off at the 11th hole during the second round of the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. The photo was part of a series of images by photographer David J. Phillip which won the Thomas V. diLustro best portfolio award for 2020 given out by the Associated Press Sports Editors during their annual winter meeting. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Credit: David J. Phillip

Credit: David J. Phillip

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2020, file photo, Bologna's Takehiro Tomiyasu, left, and Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku fight for the ball during a Series A soccer match between Inter Milan and Bologna, at Milan's San Siro Stadium. The photo was honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors as best sports action photo of 2020 at their annual winter meeting. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2020, file photo, Bologna's Takehiro Tomiyasu, left, and Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku fight for the ball during a Series A soccer match between Inter Milan and Bologna, at Milan's San Siro Stadium. The photo was honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors as best sports action photo of 2020 at their annual winter meeting. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, File)

Credit: Antonio Calanni

Credit: Antonio Calanni

FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2020, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) celebrates with his teammates after the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat 106-93 in Game 6 of basketball's NBA Finals in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The photo was honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors as best sports feature photo of 2020 at their annual winter meeting. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2020, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) celebrates with his teammates after the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat 106-93 in Game 6 of basketball's NBA Finals in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The photo was honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors as best sports feature photo of 2020 at their annual winter meeting. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

Credit: Mark J. Terrill

Credit: Mark J. Terrill

FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2020, file photo, Houston Texans inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney (55) breaks up a pass intended for Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews (89) during the second half of an NFL football game in Houston. The photo was part of a series of images by photographer David J. Phillip which won the Thomas V. diLustro best portfolio award for 2020 given out by the Associated Press Sports Editors during their annual winter meeting. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2020, file photo, Houston Texans inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney (55) breaks up a pass intended for Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews (89) during the second half of an NFL football game in Houston. The photo was part of a series of images by photographer David J. Phillip which won the Thomas V. diLustro best portfolio award for 2020 given out by the Associated Press Sports Editors during their annual winter meeting. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Credit: David J. Phillip

Credit: David J. Phillip

FILE - In this March 5, 2020, file photo, Houston Rockets' James Harden, left, is fouled by Los Angeles Clippers' Paul George during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Houston. The photo was part of a series of images by photographer David J. Phillip which won the Thomas V. diLustro best portfolio award for 2020 given out by the Associated Press Sports Editors during their annual winter meeting. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
FILE - In this March 5, 2020, file photo, Houston Rockets' James Harden, left, is fouled by Los Angeles Clippers' Paul George during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Houston. The photo was part of a series of images by photographer David J. Phillip which won the Thomas V. diLustro best portfolio award for 2020 given out by the Associated Press Sports Editors during their annual winter meeting. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Credit: David J. Phillip

Credit: David J. Phillip

FILE - Inn this July 27, 2020, file photo, Houston Astros center fielder George Springer dives while trying to catch a double by Seattle Mariners' J.P. Crawford during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
FILE - Inn this July 27, 2020, file photo, Houston Astros center fielder George Springer dives while trying to catch a double by Seattle Mariners' J.P. Crawford during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Credit: David J. Phillip

Credit: David J. Phillip

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2020, file photo, LSU celebrates after their win against Clemson in a NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game in New Orleans. The photo was part of a series of images by photographer David J. Phillip which won the Thomas V. diLustro best portfolio award for 2020 given out by the Associated Press Sports Editors during their annual winter meeting. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2020, file photo, LSU celebrates after their win against Clemson in a NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game in New Orleans. The photo was part of a series of images by photographer David J. Phillip which won the Thomas V. diLustro best portfolio award for 2020 given out by the Associated Press Sports Editors during their annual winter meeting. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Credit: David J. Phillip

Credit: David J. Phillip

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