The University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications recently announced the winners of the Lynn and Dana Roper Sports Writing Competition.
The annual competition tests students’ ability to produce clear, concise, accurate and compelling stories about sports. The first-place winner received a $2,000 cash award, second place $1,500, third place $1,000 and fourth place $500.
The winners, with their hometown, year in school, major(s) and entries, are:
First place: Drake Keeler, Parker, Colorado, junior, journalism, “Nebraska grapples with historical lack of Black head coaches,” “Former Huskers play role in taking stand on ‘This Is Us’ softball team”
Second place: Luke Mullin, Omaha, senior, journalism, and sports media and communication, “Solving Omaha’s racial divide may not be obvious, but youth athletics could be a step in the right direction for the decades-long conundrum,” “Super-State volleyball: Krause’s analytical approach to volleyball puts the Omaha Skutt standout in a class of her own”
Third place: Kylee Sodomka, Grand Island, sophomore, broadcasting, and sports media and communication, “Through the eyes and behind the plate,” “No Nebraska Danger, and it’s not because of COVID-19”
Fourth place: Marko Jerkovic, Lincoln, sophomore, broadcasting, and sports media and communication, “Isaiah White’s long journey to national title contender,” “NU wrestler Chad Red Jr. using past success as fuel for 2019-20 season”
Each student submitted two published sports stories and their resume to be reviewed by judges. This year’s judges were ESPN senior writer Elizabeth Merrill, Omaha World-Herald sportswriter Dirk Chatelain and former World-Herald sportswriter Chris Heady.
Established in 2001, the competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students in the journalism college.