Skalij Captures First Place in World Press Photo’s Sports Contest

Players work out on the football field at Paradise High School.
(Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times photographer Wally Skalij has won first place in the Sports, Stories category in the prestigious 2020 World Press Photo contest.

The award recognizes Skalij’s series of photos that, together with Columnist Bill Plaschke’s articles, chronicled the revival of the rural community of Paradise and its high school football team one year after the deadly Camp Fire devastated the town.

The team went on to have a successful season, playing undefeated until losing the championship game at the end of the year.


Skalij has won numerous awards since joining The Times as a staff photographer more than 20 years ago, including second place in the 2019 World Press Photo contest in the Environment, Singles category.

The full list of winners in the World Press Photo competition can be found at