For John Burroughs High School sophomore Jose Balderas, writing about
sports combines two of his favorite activities.
Jose, 16, a staff writer for the school newspaper, earned a
first-place award for Best Sports Story in the Leader’s inaugural
Editorial Excellence Contest for high school journalists.
“I see ... being able to explain myself through words as one of my
strong points,” said Jose, who was recognized for a Smoke Signal
story about the longtime football rivalry between Burroughs and
Jeff Keating, editor of the Leader and News-Press, and former
Leader and current News-Press City Editor Amber Willard handed out
awards Tuesday at the Buena Vista Branch Library.
The Burbank High Bulldog received the General Excellence Award,
while Bulldog photographer Gisele Barrios won for Best Feature Photo.
Other Bulldog winners were Kelsey Browne and staff for Best Page
Design, and Diana Osorio for Best Headline Writing.
Other Smoke Signal winners were Oscar Lagresa for Best News Story,
Editor Maria Kornalian for Best Feature Story, and Nick Gitomer for
Keating advised the aspiring journalists to read good writing and
“Nobody’s ever written the perfect story,” he said. “It’s
progress, not perfection.”
Journalism students from Bellarmine-Jefferson High School and
Providence High School were invited to enter the competition, but did
not submit entries.