Cleveland is state’s Sportswriter of the Year

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Melanie Thortis

Rick Cleveland

Rick Cleveland has been named Mississippi Sportswriter of the Year — an honor he achieved for the 10th time — by the National Sports Media Foundation.

Cleveland became a full time sports columnist for Mississippi Today last August after writing occasional columns for the publication while serving as executive director and historian of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

Cleveland also writes a weekly sports column that is distributed to state newspapers through the Mississippi Press Association and columns for the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

The Mississippi Sportscaster of the Year is David Kellum of the Ole Miss Radio Network in Oxford, the NSMA said.

The honorees are selected through voting done by sports writers and sportscasters in each state.

Cleveland was first honored as Mississippi Sportswriter of the Year in 1975 when he was 22 years old and the deputy sports editor of the Hattiesburg American.

In a press release, the National Sports Media Foundation noted that among this year’s honorees, seven have been honored at least 10 times in their state and one other has been honored nine times in one state and five times in another state for a total of 14.

New inductees into the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame include ESPN’s Linda Cohn, the late Frank Gifford, who moved from the sports field to the broadcast booth with CBS and ABC, New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica and the late Sam Lacy of the Baltimore Afro-American.

The new Hall of Fame members and the state award winners will be honored at the NSMA Awards Weekend, June 25-26 in Winston-Salem, N.C.

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Rick Cleveland is Mississippi Today’s sports columnist. Read his columns and his Sports Daily blog. Reach Rick at rcleveland@mississippitoday.org.

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