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Hazelwood earns seven OPSWA awards

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Updated Apr 26, 2019 at 3:15 PM

COLUMBUS —The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association held its annual state meeting Thursday and announced the 2018 writing and photography contest award winners.

Norwalk Reflector Sports Editor Mark Hazelwood was recognized with seven awards at the annual statewide member meeting held at the Ohio High School Athletic Association offices in Columbus. In his 13-year writing career, Hazelwood has earned 67 writing awards from the Associated Press, Ohio Society of Professional Journalists and the OPSWA.

The contest, which received 472 entries from 51 contestants, consisted of articles and photos from the 2018 calendar year.

In total, Hazelwood earned six writing awards for the Reflector and one writing award for the Sandusky Register, giving him seven total. Hazelwood served as the Sports Editor at both newspapers from Aug. 2017 to Aug. 2018.

There are four divisions for the awards based on size of the newspaper.

In Division III, Hazelwood took first place in Investigative/Enterprise for his story on the challenges area swimmers face in advancing to the state championships on a yearly basis. His other first place award was in the News category on the resignation of John and Marlo Rossman as the track and field coaches at St. Paul following a historic state championship weekend for the program.

Hazelwood placed third in News for the hiring of Todd Fox as the Norwalk football coach, and in Column writing for Dan Pugh’s Gagliardi Trophy gift to St. Paul. He placed fourth in the Game Story category for Clyde edging Norwalk in overtime in football, and for the six-overtime district tournament boys basketball game between Huron and Margaretta at Norwalk High School.

For the Register, Hazelwood placed second in Column writing for his reflections on the death of longtime Sandusky High School supporter Jackie Collins. Also from the Register, Erin Caldwell took second place in photography for a photo of a St. Mary Central Catholic wrestler celebrating a pin in a match vs. Sandusky.

The OPSWA membership roster now stands at 180 writers and photographers around the state, which marks the most in its 47-year history. OPSWA members serve as judges in the contest.

Founded in 1972, the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association works to support and enhance the coverage of high school sports in Ohio and to recognize superior writing among sports journalists. In 2010, the OPSWA partnered with the OHSAA to create a website, establish electronic communications and increase its membership and recognition.

Certificates were handed out to contest placers. The contest was judged by 35 OPSWA members from around the state.

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