• Special to the Daily Leader
The American Scholastic Press Association has presented the Crusader student newspaper of Seward County Community College/Area Technical School with a first-place award and honored the publication with Best Overall Sports Coverage.
ASPA is a national organization based in New York that provides annual review and contest awards for scholastic newspapers.
In a letter to Crusader editor Morgan Allaman, the judge wrote, “Congratulations go to you and the students who are responsible for the award your school’s newspaper has earned this year.”
Newspapers judged were those published in 2009. Sports editor Rustin Watt, along with Crusader sports reporter Will Rector, were the driving forces behind sports coverage in that time frame.
“Rustin has been a dedicated sports editor,” Crusader adviser Anita Reed said. “He grew up in Liberal with a connection to Saints sports and especially enjoyed covering men’s and women’s basketball. He has developed so much in the last year with his design and story skills, and I’m really proud of him for earning this award.”
In awarding the Crusader with Best Overall Sports Coverage, the judge specifically noted the March 12, 2009, sports section which covered the Lady Saints Region VI run in the basketball tournament, the men’s basketball team’s season-ending overtime, and included a student-athlete feature, plus coverage of Saints baseball, Lady Saints softball and tennis.
“Both Rustin and Will have been willing to spend the time and effort to learn journalism skills and design and to strive for good sports coverage,” Reed said. “This outstanding recognition from ASPA helps validate their efforts, as it does the efforts of the entire staff. As editor, Morgan Allaman has provided outstanding leadership that produced some stunning publications, and she deserves the first-place recognition as well.”
The ASPA judge’s letter included kudos to the entire Crusader staff.
“The facets of newspaper work are varied and difficult to master. Your staff, however, has been able to overcome the difficulties and produce a publication of which your administration and colleagues should be proud.”
The ASPA divides publication competitions by enrollment, and the Crusader competed in the community college 1,701 to 2,500 enrollment division. First place with special merit went to the Ka’Ohana, of Windward Community College in Kaneohe, Hawaii; first place to the Crusader; and second place to the Viewpoint, of Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Neb.
The Crusader is an open forum student-run publication of the SCCC/ATS journalism program with an online newspaper at CrusaderNews.com.
Student journalists for 2009-2010 were Allaman, editor, of Liberal; Watt, sports editor, of Liberal; news editor Dana Loewen, Meade; entertainment editor Jose Rodriguez, Liberal; and online editor Deisi Barboza, Liberal. Staff members included Alfredo Anaya, Liberal; Rector, Dodge City; Zach Carpenter, Liberal; Miguel Campano, Venezuela; Logan Green, Meade; Joseph Hoffman, Hooker, Okla.; Antigoné Lowery, Denton, Texas; and Landry Mastellar, Liberal.
Loewen and Anaya will be taking over the top editor responsibilities in the fall of 2010 as the Crusader begins its 41st year of publishing.