LEBANON, Tenn. — It was a big night for the Chattanooga Times Free Press at the annual Tennessee Sports Writers Association awards banquet and Hall of Fame induction Thursday at Cumberland University.
The newspaper's Stephen Hargis was honored as the state's Sports Writer of the Year and the Prep Writer of the Year and was second in feature writing. His prep first place was his 14th in 22 years on staff.
TFP colleagues Mark Wiedmer and Lindsey Young were third in the overall and prep categories, respectively, and page designers Jamie Poole and Stacey Wysong McCray were second and third in the individual design category. The TFP received a runner-up award for special sections and third-place recognition for daily sections.
Additionally, retired TFP executive sports editor Sam Woolwine was part of the TSWA Hall of Fame class. Now in his 50th year as a print journalist, Woolwine began work for the Chattanooga Times in August 1968, moved to the News-Free Press that October, retired from the merged TFP in 2002 and wrote columns for the newspaper until the spring of 2009.
He follows former Times writers Buck Johnson, Wirt Gammon Sr. and Larry Fleming in being inducted. Another one going in Thursday was Ron Higgins of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis.
"Higgins and I covered a lot of events together," the 69-year-old Woolwine said, citing University of Tennessee basketball and the Masters among those. "That makes this even more special."
"But I'm flabbergasted as well as flattered," added Woolwine, who was a two-term TSWA president and has emceed the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame inductions for a quarter of a century. "I'm used to honoring people, not being honored. And this is a very great honor."