Sentry staff, adviser win MSPA accolades

Alex Roberson’s first-place photo ran online in the summer of 2020 and depicted the peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Jackson (Alex Roberson)

This year, the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association held its annual awards ceremony virtually via a pre-recorded program. The Sentry was well represented in categories spanning from graphics to best newspaper adviser. (Earthwinds and Précis both received accolades in the MSPA’s fall contest.)

The awards given were divided into two sections, Best of Mississippi and Best in Show. Best of Mississippi is the main contest, spanning from February 2020 to February 2021. Best in Show includes entries created after December by publications attending the virtual MSPA conference. 

Lily Flowers’ first-place sports photo originally ran on the front page of the September issue. (Lily Flowers)

Along with the necessary changes due to Covid-19, new interesting Covid related categories were added to this year’s Best of Show contest, including best Covid-19 Visual, won by Sentry graphics editor Alex Roberson. Other categories in which The Sentry brought home the top prize included Best Headline (Alex Roberson), Best News Front (Alex Roberson), Best News Photo (Alex Roberson), and Best Sports Photo (Lily Flowers). Sentry adviser Mr. Lain Hughes was also named the JoAnne Sellers Newspaper Adviser of the Year.

Although this year offered a unique set of challenges to the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association and high school journalism, the MSPA adapted in the best way possible and hopes that next year’s conference will be held in person.

A complete list of winners from this year’s Best of Mississippi contest, along with links to winners and finalists, may be found on the MSPA website.

Best of Mississippi competition

JoAnne Sellers Newspaper Adviser of the Year – Mr. Lain Hughes, winner

News Photo – Alex Roberson, winner

Sports Photo – Lily Flowers, winner 

News Photo – Selby Ireland, finalist

Feature Photo – Anna Blaire Bryant, finalist

Sports Photo – Lauren Anne Smith, finalist

Feature Story – Dax Murphy, finalist

Staff Editorial – Selby Ireland and Cass Rutledge, finalists (x2)

Reviews – Camp Carter, finalist

Editorial Cartoon – Kalyn Giesecke, finalist

Sports Story, Mason Nichols, finalist

Page Design – Alex Roberson, finalist

Infographic – Alex Roberson, finalist

Publication News and Feature writing – The Sentry, finalist

Publication Opinion Writing- The Sentry, finalist

Publication Print and Layout Design -The Sentry, finalist

Publication Online Presence- The Sentry, finalist

Publication of the Year – The Sentry, finalist

Best of Show competition

Best in Show – The Sentry, finalist

Headline – Alex Roberson, winner

Covid-19 Visual – Alex Roberson, winner

News Front – Alex Roberson, winner

Graphics – Alex Roberson & Kalyn Giesecke, finalists

Single-Page Spread – Charles Stephenson & Joseph Watts, finalists

News Photo – Dax Murphy, finalist

Infographic – Mason Nichols, finalist