Cherokee County Herald Sports Editor Shannon Fagan brought home two awards from the recent 2017 Alabama Sportswriters Association’s 46th Annual Convention. The event was held Sunday, June 11, in Hoover.
Fagan earned the Best Game Story Award for 2016 and was runner-up for Best Feature Story 2016.
“I’m blessed to work in such an athletic environment like the one we have in Cherokee County and the surrounding areas,” commented Fagan. “Last year’s sports seasons were a dream for me to cover. We had a little bit of everything, from milestones reached to championships won. I’m just fortunate to be recognized and honored for a couple of those special moments I chronicled.”
Josh Bean of Al.com received the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s highest writing award, the Herby Kirby Award, of which Fagan himself is a past recipient. Bean, according to reports, won this award for his story on “Southeastern High School Athlete, Justin Bolden. How does he find time for two jobs, schoolwork, sports and girlfriend”
The Herby Kirby Award is given in memory of longtime Birmingham Post-Herald sports writer Herby Kirby, who died in the press box after covering Notre Dame’s 24-23 national football championship win over Alabama in the 1973 Sugar Bowl.
In the non daily categories, Fagan earned the Best Game Story Award for his piece, Hayes accounts for seven TDs, leads Piedmont back to 3A title game.
The Tuscaloosa News earned a convention-high six awards, followed by Al.com with five. The Montgomery Advertiser, Opelika-Auburn News, Anniston Star, Decatur Daily, Call News, Cherokee County Herald, Auburn Plainsman, Auburn Undercover.com and Florence Times-Daily each won one, reports said.
Fagan earned Best Game Story for 2017 for his piece, Hayes accounts for seen TDs, leads Piedmont back to 3A title game.
“I’ve been fortunate to cover some truly special athletes throughout my sports writing career, and Piedmont’s Taylor Hayes is one of those select few athletes atop that list,” said Fagan.
“What he did in the Class 3A state football semifinals against Ohatchee last November just reaffirmed what I already knew about him,” he continued. “That game was the stuff of legends. He was not going to be denied another chance to play for a state championship. It was just an honor for me and all those in attendance that night to watch him work.”
Fagan earned Runner-up for Best Feature for Spring Garden’s Anderson McDonald driven by perfection. “There are quite a few names who are synonymous when it comes to Spring Garden’s athletic history, and one of those names is Paige Anderson,” said Fagan. “Anyone who knows Paige knows she’s a perfectionist at whatever she does — not just on the basketball and volleyball courts, but in every aspect of her life. I tried to capture that when she was selected for the Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame last summer.”
Summing up, Fagan expressed appreciation to his sources and readers.
“I’d just like to thank our readers for taking the time to read my stories, and I’d also like to thank our coaches and athletes for their cooperation on the stories we write about them,” said Fagan. “I feel like we have some of the best in the country here in Cherokee County. Without them, I wouldn’t have a purpose.”