Led by a first-place from Tiger Rag president and owner Jim Engster, Tiger Rag Magazine won four awards in Division 5 of the annual Louisiana Press Association Better Newspaper Competition it was announced Monday.
Engster and editor Ron Higgins finished 1-2 in best sports column. Former Tiger Rag assistant editor Tyler Nunez and former Tiger Rag editor James Moran finished second and third in best sports story.
All entries submitted were published between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019.
Engster’s winning entry was entitled “LSU’s tale of two tragedies from Wayde to Wade,” a column connecting the shooting death of Tigers’ basketball player Wayde Sims and the recruiting scandal allegations hanging over LSU basketball coach Will Wade.
A sample of Engster’s winning column:
Historians will remember the 2019 basketball team as a group of players with roles to resemble an ancient Greek tragedy. The Maravich Assembly Center was a stage for the polarity of magnificent feats and mournful failures. The season started with the death of 20-year-old Wayde Sims on September 28, 2018 and ended with the death of the prodigious promise of 36-year-old Will Wade on March 8. 2019.
In 151 days between the senseless murder of a player named Wayde and the revelations of self-destruction from a coach whose name is Wade, LSU packed the PMAC like the halcyon days of old and became the first Tiger team to post a 9-0 record in SEC road games.
Higgins, who became TR editor last Nov. 4, placed second with a column he wrote in the second week on the job entitled “‘Bama fans should look in the mirror before playing the “no class” card.” It concerned the criticism from Alabama fans after LSU coach Ed Orgeron’s unapologetic postgame celebratory cursing after the Tigers’ win at Tuscaloosa.
Nunez’s second-place winner was a lengthy feature on controversial head basketball coach Will Wade called “Suspension of Disbelief” as the cover story for the November 2019 preseason basketball issue.
Moran’s third-place winner was his touching feature on LSU tight Stephen Sullivan’s journey from being homeless to earning a college degree. Appearing in the August 2019 preseason football issue, the story was entitled “If I could do it, you can too” | Stephen Sullivan shares his story of going from “real life poverty” to graduating from LSU.”