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MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2007

Daily’s Edwards honored by peers
Sports editor wins one of state writers group’s top awards

Daily Sports Editor Mark Edwards was named recipient of the Bill Shelton Award at the 36th annual Alabama Sports Writers Association convention in Huntsville on Sunday.

The award, named for the late Cullman Times sports editor, honors a sports writer’s contribution to the community through journalism and is voted on by his peers.

“It was an honor to win the award, but it is actually an honor for the entire community that we serve,” Edwards said.

The ASWA started the award following Shelton’s death in January 2000.

Shelton overcame polio and other physical ailments to serve as the Times sports editor for more than two decades. He won several ASWA awards and was considered the organization’s most beloved member at the time of his death.

Edwards also took home a runner-up award in the “best tennis feature without a deadline” category. Edwards’ winning piece was a feature on Austin High School tennis player Meleana McCutcheon, published April 30, 2006.

A graduate of The University of Alabama, Edwards joined The Daily’s sports staff in 1990.

He served as assistant sports editor and Alabama beat writer for 11 years before being named sports editor in 2003.

Edwards has won six ASWA awards in his tenure with The Daily. He has four top-10 finishes in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest, the most ever by a Daily staffer. He has won 13 awards in the Alabama Associated Press Managing Editors contests, including his fourth first place for column writing this year.

A resident of Decatur, Edwards is the son of Mark G. Edwards of Birmingham and Shirley Branan of Pensacola, Fla.

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