A new look for a Rome and Northwest Georgia tradition received a seal of approval from one of the media industry’s leading sports journalism organizations last week.
The Rome News-Tribune’s 2019 Pigskin Preview football magazine won national top 5 in special sections in the small newspaper category at the annual Associated Press Sports Editors winter judging convention held in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The 84-page publication was the first time the more than 50-year-old football preview was contained in its own magazine, with full color photos, schedules, feature stories, and, of course, in-depth previews for Floyd County’s high school and college football teams.
“We worked throughout last summer to put together something special for local football fans and fans of local football players, and to receive this recognition shows us that it was definitely worth the hard work and dedication that all involved put into it,” RN-T Sports Editor Jeremy Stewart said.
The 2019 Pigskin Preview was a large-scale effort that took several people to make it a reality, from the writers and photographers, to the RN-T advertising and graphic design departments.
The magazine’s designers were Marietta Daily Journal Sports Editor John Bednarowski and Assistant Sports Editor Eli Boorstein. Photographers Ryan Smith and Steven Eckhoff took portraits of local photo players. Graphic designers Erin Barkwell and Lee Field contributed as well.
Writers for the edition include Stewart and Rome News-Tribune sports writer Jonathan Blaylock, Bednarowski, and interns McClain Baxley, Christian Knox and Prince Robinson.
“Our sports team, Jeremy and Jonathan, are doing a great job covering football in this community — this is really where it shows,” RN-T Executive Editor John Bailey said.
The magazine featured the first Floyd Super Six, a group of the top six high school football players from Floyd County teams as chosen by the RN-T sports staff. All six in the 2019 group went on to sign with Division I teams.
With several high-profile players graduating this spring and new region realignments taking effect in the fall, this year’s Pigskin Preview will have no shortness of topics to cover when it arrives in August.