Sentry staff wins statewide journalism prizes

The Mississippi Scholastic Press Association is the major organization for student journalism and publication in the state. Each year, it holds a “Best of Mississippi” contest to honor the best scholastic journalism Mississippi has to offer. Prizes in the yearbook and literary magazine portions of the contest are awarded in the fall, and the newspaper and broadcast awards are in the spring.

Every year members of The Sentry’s staff travel to the University of Mississippi for the MSPA workshop and awards ceremony. Unfortunately, this year’s event on March 31 was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, so the awards were announced online. Members of the Sentry staff had a watch party on Zoom and they were able to share the event together.

The Sentry as a publication won the statewide award for News and Feature Writing, and was a finalist in Sports Writing, Opinion Writing, and Best News Publication. Additionally, Sentry sponsor Mr. Lain Hughes was a finalist for Adviser of the Year.

Sentry finalists and winners are listed below:



  • Best Weather Report – Tanner Gough, WINNER (note: we believe this is the first time Prep has taken first place for a category in the broadcast division. See link at bottom for Gough’s highlight reel.)


  • Best News Story – Alex Roberson, Finalist
  • Opinion Writing – Selby Ireland, Finalist
  • Staff Editorial – Jackson Prep Sentry staff, Finalists
  • Best Review – Charles Stephenson, Finalist; Hannah Grace Biggs, Finalist
  • Best Editorial Cartoon – Kalyn Giesecke, Finalist
  • Best Feature Photo – Lily Flowers, Finalist
  • Best Sports Photo – Hannah Grace Biggs, Finalist

CARRY-IN COMPETITION (for material published after Feb. 15 contest deadline)

  • Best News Photo – Hannah Grace Biggs, WINNER
  • Best Candid Photo – Hannah Grace Biggs, WINNER
  • Best Graphic Illustration – Alex Roberson, Finalist
  • Best Lede – Tanner Gough, WINNER


  • Best News and Feature Writing – Jackson Prep Sentry – WINNER
  • Best Sportswriting – Jackson Prep Sentry, Finalist
  • Best Opinion Writing – Jackson Prep Sentry, Finalist
  • Best News Publication – Jackson Prep Sentry, Finalist


  • Mr. Lain Hughes, Finalist


A full list of winners and finalists, along with links to the winning entries, can be found at

The presentation of this year’s MSPA awards were by video, which can be viewed in its entirety at:

Tanner Gough’s winning highlight reel from The Sentry Weather Report: