The Jackson County Sentinel was recently honored with 16 awards in the Alabama Press Association Media Awards Contest. We published an article in the Jackson County Sentinel several weeks ago, detailing the accomplishments of our staff.

Given that football season is right around the corner and other fall sports, such as cross country, volleyball and swimming are soon to start, I wanted to call special attention to our Sports Editor, Jason Bowen.

I first met Jason in 2000 when I was working as a stringer for the Sentinel. I would run up and down the sidelines, passing him several hundred times at various games. He was working as the sports editor of the Weekly Post in Rainsville at the time. Six months later I became the sports editor of the Sentinel, establishing a direct-working relationship with Jason.

Jason now sits at my original desk from 18 years ago, still providing Jackson County with the absolute best sports coverage in the state of Alabama. I know the struggles of providing coverage for seven high schools in a county with more than 1,000 square miles.

Returning next week from a much needed and well-deserved vacation, Jason will start his work toward preparing fall sports previews for every team in Jackson County. One of the largest projects the Sentinel will produce is our prized Gridiron Guide.

The Gridiron Guide, a comprehensive look at every high school football team in Jackson County, including SEC teams, recently won second place in the APA Media Awards Contest for Best Special Section.

In addition to the Gridiron Guide taking second place for his contribution to the magazine, Jason was also honored with two first-place awards. One for Best Sports Photo and one for Best Sports Single Event Story.

While football may be a huge part of Jason’s weekly coverage, he does an excellent job covering other sports in the county. He is a staff of one and relies on the help of his co-workers. Luckily, we have a staff that is willing to step up and go the extra measure to help provide assistance.

I have been asked many times if I plan to continue taking pictures at high school sporting events. You will certainly see me on the sidelines this coming season. I will be doing my part to provide Jason with the photos he needs to help make our products a valuable and treasured keepsake for our readers.

However, Jason is not the only one who deserves acknowledgements. Managing Editor DeWayne Patterson received first-place honors for his in-depth look at the destruction of methamphetamine in the area. Graphic Artist Elizabeth Law received several awards for her use of graphics and illustrations in the Sentinel and Jackson Monthly.

We have an award-winning staff with award-winning products. Whether it is Jason, DeWayne, Elizabeth or any of our employees at the Sentinel, we all work to provide our readers with trusted and valuable products.

One thing is for sure, no one covers Jackson County sports as well as the Jackson County Sentinel!

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