NSU sports information department combines for five awards in annual LSWA contest


The Northwestern State sports information office went a perfect 3-for-3 in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association awards luncheon this weekend, posting a pair of first-place finishes in the organization’s annual contest.

The awards were presented during the LSWA’s annual convention, held in Natchitoches in conjunction with the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame’s induction weekend. This year’s awards lunch was held at Merci Beaucoup Restaurant.

Assistant director of communication Matt Vines notched a first-place finish in the “Best Release” category (non-football, basketball or baseball) for his feature on Lady Demon soccer player April Ficarrotta’s relationship with her mother, a breast cancer survivor. It was Vines’ first LSWA sports information award.

Vines’ win was one of four awards the NSU staff took home in the sports information side of the competition.

Assistant athletic director/sports information director Doug Ireland captured second place in “Best Release” (football, basketball, baseball) on the NSU football team’s participation in the annual Chris Waddell Day of community service.

For the second straight year, Ireland was a crossover winner as his Natchitoches Metro Leader feature on Northwestern State’s legendary “Coach Black,” Harris Wilson Jr., captured first place in the LSWA Writing Contest’s Multi-Media category, which included weekly and bi-weekly publications.

The judge’s comments on Ireland’s piece read, “This story was thoughtful, tastefully done about a delicate subject and somewhat insightful. This is a special coach who has earned the respect that he has attained among his peers. This story made me want to reach out and meet Coach Black one day and perhaps give him a hug.”

Demon Sports Network radio broadcaster Tony Taglavore’s feature on legendary Shreveport sports broadcaster Bob Griffin, which appeared in the Forum News, picked up second place in the same category.

Assistant sports information director Jason Pugh picked up two awards, taking second place in “Best Media Guide” (non-football, men’s basketball, baseball) for his NSU women’s basketball guide and third place in “Best Fact Sheet” for his women’s basketball game notes for the Lady Demons’ March 3 game at Central Arkansas.