Extra! Extra! Mascot earns 6 MNA awards!
The Minneota Mascot received six awards at the 2022 MNA (Minnesota Newspaper Association) Better Newspaper Contest last Thursday at a banquet in Minneapolis.
The Mascot entrants are for those newspapers with 1,000 to 1,500 subscribers. The contest runs from September of 2021 to August of 2022. Judge's may or may not include comments on the various awards.
Mascot Editor Scott Thoma received two first-place awards and two second-place awards, while Brian Jeremiason received a first place and a second place for sports photos.
Thoma received a first-place award in the Social Issues category for his series entitled "Trapped in Togo", which was about Minneota native Casey McCoy being trapped in Togo, West Africa for a month. The series of stories appeared in the Jan. 6, Jan. 13 and Jan. 20 issues of the Mascot.
The other first-place award Thoma garnered was in the Hard News category for his story entitled "Bin here, done that", which focused on Minneota farmer Rick Bot being trapped in a grain bin at his brother's farm. That story was published Feb. 24, 2022.
Judge's comments on that story said: "Great order of events, good language use describing the rescue efforts - glorified God in the end."
Thoma was awarded second place for Column Writing. Entrants are required to submit three columns and judges based the awards on the overall body of work. Thoma's columns included a piece on Minnesota blizzards, finding Mary Jane Berends after searching for her for over 25 years, and one on remembering the 1968 Tracy tornado victims.
Judge's remarks were: "With the addition of blizzard statistics, I was pulled into the column as we do not have that type of weather where I live. More and more, I've found so many connections in my life and by seeing you meet one of the girls, whose story you knew, really shows our world is small!"
The other second-place award Thoma earned was in the Human Interest category and was entitled "Closure", a story published on Oct. 21, 2021 about Minneota native Earl Halvorson who was lost at sea during World War II when the submarine he was aboard was sunk by a Japanese aircraft. He was officially declared dead in 1946 and that date was included on his military headstone until the USS Grayback submarine that he was aboard was discovered off the coast of Japan in November of 2021 and a new military headstone was issued with Japanese records revealing the date of Halvorson's death being Feb. 27, 1944 . An official memorial service was held on October 17, 2021
Jeremiason first-place award for Photography Feature in which he magnificently captured the Minneota girls' volleyballl team celebrating the Section 3A championship victory over Tracy-Milroy-Balaton on Nov. 12, 2022. That photo appeared in the Nov, 17 issue of the Mascot.
Judge's comments: "(This photo) captures a moment in time, but so much more - emotion, friendship, lasting meaning, extraordinary composition (out of the ordinary), and celebration that will not be forgotten."
Jeremiason earned a second-place award in the Sports Photography category. His shot was of Minneota running back Jonah Gruenes hurdling a Rushford-Peterson tackler in the Class A state semifinal game on Nov. 18, 2021.
A judge's comment read: "Amazing action shot. I've never seen anything like it."