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Happy holidays everyone:

I hope this finds you all as well as possible. Congratulations on getting through the football season, or at least the regular season as some of us still have a game or two to go.

It’s obviously been a rough couple of months for sports writers everywhere in the state, especially with the passing of Charles Hollis and Cecil Hurt.  

[Update: Video of the memorial service for Cecil can be found on YouTube or in the ASWA story posted]

On the plus side, huge congratulations to Mark McCarter, the 2022 Mel Allen Media Award recipient from the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, and will be recognized at the 54th Annual Induction Banquet and Ceremony on May 7, 2022.

The 2022 ASWA convention and awards banquet will be a celebration of the organization’s 50th anniversary, and many people are already putting in the effort to help make sure it’s a special event.

We’re letting everyone know now that it will be held Sunday, June 12, in Birmingham. The convention will be at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. The banquet site has yet to be determined.

As part of the buildup, it was decided a while ago to move up the Hall of Fame/Hall of Honors process. Nominations for both will begin next week, with the official vote held in January.

A quick reminder of the changes approved last year. Nominations, along with the previous year's results, will be considered by the executive committee and an official ballot listing no more than three finalists will be distributed to the membership. To be elected, a nominee must receive more than 65 percent of the votes cast. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, no more than two people shall be inducted in either category during a given year.

Also, there will be a special honor this year, the 50 Legends of the ASWA. Nominations will be taken in January, and anyone may be suggested but to be clear the emphasis will be on writers (it is the ASWA after all). We’ll send out a list of ASWA honors and award winners to help with that.

As of now, the executive council will meet in February to select the 50, and we’re open to adding a person or two who have the proper and necessary perspective to help with what will be some very difficult choices.

We’re also going to have a special 50th anniversary keepsake program that will profile the 50, and we’ll slide in the regular program with this year’s other award winners. The program will be something like 12 pages, and we’re going to sell ads for at least two pages ($1,000 each, $500 for a half, or $250 for a quarter). We’ve already sold one.

A final note, John Zenor has agreed to take over the Presidents' Award committee. For those who may not remember, the Presidents’ Award was a new honor last year, recognizing someone who exemplifies the spirit of athletics in the state of Alabama, sort of like our version of the NFL Man of the Year. The winner is selected by former ASWA presidents. Charles headed up the committee last year.

Thanks, and look for the initial Hall of Fame email next week.

- Christopher Walsh

Alabama Sports Writers Association president

Tentative timetable

December: Hall of Fame and Hall of Honors nominations

January: Hall of Fame ballots (early month); 50 legends nominations (late month)

February: Announce Hall of Fame/Hall of Honors inductees

March: Announce the 50 Legends

Read More

April: Nominations for athletes of the year voting

May: Writing contest deadline (May 1)/Final voting for athletes of the year

June 12: Convention/Banquet in Birmingham

To Join

Annual dues: $30 for active members, $25 for anyone serving in the mentor program (and you have to be an active member to vote).

Alumni dues: $15 for those who are no longer active in the profession.

Alabama Sports Writers Association (ASWA)

Jacksonville State Sports Information

700 Pelham Road North

Jacksonville, AL 36265

Attn: Greg Seitz

Annual convention

The convention and annual awards banquet are traditionally held the Sunday before Father's Day in June. The 2022 celebration is scheduled for June 12 in Birmingham. Cost to attend is $25.