The Carroll News wins three state VPA awards

April 11, 2014

The Carroll News is excited to announce it won three first-place awards in the 2013 Virginia Press Association News Contest. Winners of this year’s state contest were announced April 5 at the annual awards banquet at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa/Short Pump.

Editor Allen Worrell claimed two first-place awards, while staff writer Michael Howlett also won a first-place state award in the Weekly Division 1 category. Worrell’s awards came in the Sports Column Writing and Sports Writing Portfolio categories, while Howlett won first-place for Humorous Column Writing.

Worrell took first-place in Sports Column Writing for his weekly “Talking Trash” feature. Each week, coaches at Carroll County High School selected an athlete they wanted to participate. Players’ coaches, teammates and parents were interviewed to get “dirt” on the athletes to come up with humorous and interesting questions, as well as serious ones. The winning entry consisted of “Talking Trash” columns with CCHS athletes Lucas Holder, Taylor Martin and Joey Rotella. The Carroll News beat out second- and third-place finishers from The Commonwealth Times of Richmond and Rappahannock Times of Tappahannock for this award.

Worrell also took first place in the Sports Writing Portfolio contest for an entry titled “The past and present of Carroll County athletics.” Contestants were asked to send in three submissions for this category. Worrell’s entry included a Catching Up With…article with Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer. The last two articles came about because of the success of the CCHS boys’ basketball team in 2013. The team started 18-0 and won the school’s first regional championship in 32 years. Because of their undefeated run, many in the community were wondering how this team stacked up with some of the best in CCHS history.

With that in mind, The Carroll News wrote extensive feature articles on the 1979-80 team, which won the first regional title in school history and is considered CCHS’s best team by many, and the 1990-91 team, which was the last CCHS boys’ basketball team to reach the Group AA state playoffs prior to last year. Orange County Review of Orange finished second in this category, while Rappahannock Times of Tappahannock placed third.

Howlett captured first place in the Column Writing category with his submission of humor columns. Each Contestant was asked to submit three examples of their work. Howlett’s winning entry included columns entitled “Vacating With Mermaids,” “First Date Advice,” and “Teachers Told To Don Underwear.” Powhatan Today of Powhatan and The Southside Messenger of Keysville placed second and third, respectively, in this category.

During his over 30 years in the newspaper business, Howlett has received over a dozen writing awards, either from the Virginia Press Association or the North Carolina Press Association. Most of his awards have recognized his column-writing skills.