MONTGOMERY — The Tuscaloosa News won eight first-place awards and had second-place finishes in three categories for its work in 2017 at the Alabama Sports Writers Association banquet Sunday night.

Executive Sports Editor Tommy Deas took office as president of the association. He will serve a two-year term.

The Tuscaloosa News won first place for best sports layout, best special section and best headlines.

Sports writer Joey Chandler had two first-place honors. She garnered first place along with Deas, Molly Catherine Walsh, Drew Taylor and Drew Hill in the investigative division for their “Should Your Kid Play Football?” project.

Chandler also won in deadline reporting on a prep or other amateur event for her story on the Hale County girls basketball team wearing purple in the state tournament to bring attention to domestic violence after the death of a teammate.

Deas, Ben Jones and Aaron Suttles placed first in the enterprise category for their series on the evolution of UA football coach Nick Saban’s process over 10 years.

Suttles also won first place in boxing or wrestling feature for a story on World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.

Robert DeWitt won first place in outdoors for his feature on falconry.

Deas finished second in deadline reporting for his story on Alabama’s loss to Clemson in the national championship football game. Jones placed second in breaking news for his story on former Alabama baseball coach Greg Goff’s plan to revoke scholarships in violation of NCAA rules. Cecil Hurt came in second in column writing.

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