The Courier Publications' sports staff, which reports, photographs and records video at events for two websites and three weekly newspapers in Waldo, Knox and Lincoln counties, earned a handful of awards during the 2013 Maine Press Association ceremony Oct. 26 at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel.

The ceremony honors the yearly work of newspapers and their websites, from writing to photography, from videos to page design, from advertising to circulation.

Courier Publications' newspapers — The Courier-Gazette in Rockland (17), The Camden Herald in Camden (13) and The Republican Journal in Belfast (16) — combined to win 46 MPA awards.

The award categories are based on the circulation of the newspapers, including Weekly I for circulations less than 5,000, Weekly II for circulations over 5,000 and daily/weekend.

The Courier-Gazette is in Weekly II and The Republican Journal and The Camden Herald in Weekly I.

Courier Publications staff members Ken Waltz, sports director, and Mark Haskell, associate sport director, brought home awards.

The photos submitted by the sports department for different papers/websites in a number of categories are included above and below.

Haskell finished first for sports photo for Weekly I in The Camden Herald with his image of Camden Hills Regional High School cross-country runner Lily Kassen lying exhausted in the mud at the finish line after a race. Haskell also finished third in the same category in Weekly II for The Courier-Gazette for another cross-country photo, this one of Medomak Valley High School's Gavin Felch covered with mud and holding his arms in the air at the finish line.

In the sports story category, Haskell finished third for Weekly I for The Camden Herald for a story on the Rayes, a father, Chris, who coached against his son, Nate, in a middle school basketball game.

Haskell also cashed in with a first place in the Weekly II category in The Courier-Gazette with a story on concussions. The judge wrote: "This is a major point of emphasis in sports on all levels. The detail put into this was very strong, and I couldn't put this story down. Very good!"

Haskell kept it up in the sports feature writing category with the top two stories for Weekly I, one for The Republican Journal and one for The Camden Herald. His first-place feature was on a woman Little League baseball coach in Waldo County that appeared in the TRJ. His second place was for Camden Hills graduate Keifer Lammi playing basketball for the University of Connecticut Huskies, a story that appeared in The Camden Herald.

The judge wrote, "Deciding who would win this category was not difficult; Haskell's entries were each consistently well-written. In terms of pure writing and storytelling, he was the class of the field. It was difficult, however, definitively choosing one of Haskell's stories as deserving of first place over his others."

Waltz finished third in the same category with a story on sculpture Jon Moro, that appeared in The Camden Herald.

Haskell also finished second in the same category in the Weekly II division with a  story on a woman who helped promote a Rockland-based adaptive sailing program, which appeared in The Courier-Gazette.

Waltz and Haskell combined to finish second in the Weekly sports section category with The Camden Herald. The judge wrote: "The Herald has a nice mix of strong photos and good local content … there is all the content here a good weekly should have."

In the sports columnist category, Waltz finished second writing about former colleague and outdoor writer Ken Bailey, a story that appeared in The Camden Herald. The judge wrote, "Writer does a fine job in capturing the life of 'Mr. Outdoors,' Ken Bailey. Nice touch with how Bailey impacted him and the community. I'm quite sure Bailey's family was moved and will treasure this column."

Finally, Waltz also tied for second place in Weekly II for scenic photo of youth sailing that appeared in The Courier-Gazette.