Maine Press Association

Courier Publications/VillageSoup sports staff recognized for work

Miller, Vanorse Spicer, Waltz earn firsts, sports sections deemed best for weeklies
By Staff | Nov 07, 2019
Photo by: Zack Miller This photo of a Vinalhaven-North Haven soccer player was deemed best in its division.

South Portland — The Courier Publications/VillageSoup sports staff of Holly Vanorse Spicer, Zack Miller, Mark Haskell and Ken Waltz was recognized for its consistent and impressive work for writing, photography, video, page design and weekly print sections at the annual Maine Press Association's awards banquet on Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel.

The sports department received honors as a group and individuals. In all, the foursome brought home 20 awards on a day that included workshops and networking for reporters and photographers, journalists, advertising staff and designers throughout the state.

The honors were highlighted by Miller winning a first place in photography and video, Waltz first in column and page design and Vanorse Spicer first in feature/profile writing, as well as the staff being recognized for the top weekly sports sections in the state for several of its print editions.

The honors included 12 for The Courier-Gazette in Rockland, six for The Camden Herald and two for The Republican Journal in Belfast.

"It always is nice to be recognized by peers in the media business and realize they see tangible evidence of how hard we work, as a group, to tell the stories of our three-county community with our words, images, visual and print products," said Ken Waltz, sports director. "These awards always are a feather in our caps, an indication that what we do matters, makes a difference and is appreciated. I am so proud of the work Holly, Zack and Mark do individually, the dedication they put into their jobs each day and what we accomplish as a group to give the Midcoast a strong online and print sports presence."

The following are the awards received by the sports staff:

The Courier-Gazette

Holly Vanorse Spicer, first, sports profile; Zack Miller, first, sports photo; first, sports video; second, sports column; Ken Waltz, first, sports column; third, game story; and second and third, sports page design; Mark Haskell, second, sports profile; and third, sports column; and Vanorse Spicer, Haskell, Miller and Waltz, second, sports section.

Miller won a first for sports photo with his image of a Vinalhaven-North Haven soccer player being hit in the face with the ball. Miller also won first for video story for his visual on Naomi Miller and the growth of Medomak Youth Football. Vanorse Spicer finished first for her story on 84-year-old swimmer (and butterfly extraordinaire) Donna Edelbaum and Waltz first for columns about the decline baseball and sporty memories of his father-in-law Dr. Henry O. White.

Miller also was noted for his columns on NASCAR and camping with is pregnant wife; Haskell for his profile of a karate instructor's trip to Japan; and Waltz for the "young and dangerous" Oceanside softball team under the guidance of coach Rusty Worcester.

On his first-place photo, the judges said of Miller's incredible image: "As painful as this photo is to look at, it cracks me up at the same time. Perfect timing on getting this shot."

On Miller's video, the judges said: "Great job of intertwining sit down interviews with action video of the football program. The back and forth lets the viewer see for himself the growth of the program and how it has impacted the sport. The contrast between interviews and action keeps the viewer engaged."

For Vanorse Spicer's first-place story on the Union swimmer, the judges said: "Great article. The lede really drew me in. Excellent use of quotes."

In his first place for column, the judge said of of Waltz' work: "Both columns, especially the one about Hank, are incredible. The memories of your father-in-law will always stick with you, and you made me feel as if I knew him. Very well done."

The Camden Herald

Miller, third, sports video; Vanorse Spicer, second, sports profile; Waltz, first, column; and first and second, page design; Haskell, third, game story; and Vanorse Spicer, Haskell, Miller and Waltz, first, sports section.

Miller and Vanorse Spicer won for their visual and written profiles of triathlete Mara Crans, while Haskell was honored for his story on Camden Hills' Kris Kelly scoring her 100th career goal — while wearing a teammate's cleats. Waltz won for his columns on baseball and his father-in-law.

In his first place for columns, the judge said of of Waltz's work: "Great articles, addressed good points in the fall of baseball."

Of the first-place sport section, the judges said: "Excellent work. Good use of color and the photography was outstanding. Stories really flowed well. Great sports section."

The Republican Journal

Waltz, third, sports profile; and Vanorse Spicer, Miller, Haskell and Waltz, first, sports section.

Waltz won for his story on four Belfast Area High School teammates who won a state relay title in track and field.

For the first-place sport section, the judges said, "Dominant photos with tight crops, excellent photo balance and great spacing helped this paper stand out among the entries. When you have strong photos, don't be afraid to show them off, and that's exactly what this newspaper did. Excellent work."

Below are photos entered or considered for entry for MPA ward consideration.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

(Photo by: Mark Haskell)
(Photo by: Ken Waltz)
(Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
(Photo by: Ken Waltz)
(Photo by: Zack Miller)
(Photo by: Ken Waltz)
(Photo by: Zack Miller)
(Photo by: Mark Haskell)
(Photo by: Ken Waltz)
(Photo by: Ken Waltz)
(Photo by: Mark Haskell)
(Photo by: Ken Waltz)
(Photo by: Ken Waltz)
(Photo by: Zack Miller)
(Photo by: Mark Haskell)
(Photo by: Ken Waltz)
(Photo by: Mark Haskell)
(Photo by: Ken Waltz)
(Photo by: Zack Miller)
(Photo by: Mark Haskell)
(Photo by: Zack Miller)
(Photo by: Mark Haskell)
(Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
(Photo by: Ken Waltz)
(Photo by: Ken Waltz)
(Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
(Photo by: Ken Waltz)
(Photo by: Zack Miller)
(Photo by: Zack Miller)
(Photo by: Ken Waltz)
(Photo by: Zack Miller)
(Photo by: Ken Waltz)
(Photo by: Zack Miller)
(Photo by: Mark Haskell)
(Photo by: Ken Waltz)
(Photo by: Zack Miller)
(Photo by: Ken Waltz)
(Photo by: Ken Waltz)
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