Judges for the South Texas Press Association named the Hays Free Press best in the class of small newspapers in all of South Texas, based on points for winnings in various categories.
The Hays Free Press won first place in General Excellence, Feature Photos, Sports Coverage, Sports Photos, Display Advertising, Lifestyle Pages, Headline Writing and Page Design. The newspaper was awarded second place in News Photos and Serious Column Writing and Honorable Mention in Feature Writing.
In the General Excellence award, the judges wrote, “Fantastic newspaper, cover to cover. Well written. Nice layout. Informative and enjoyable. Keep up the good work!”
The Feature Photos award came from two photos entered – the popsicle run in Plum Creek and the welding photo for Hays CISD Career & Technology training story. “Bright image, color, emotion in popsicle run photo pulled this entry to the top in a rough category filled with lots of good entries. Welding photo also shows good ability to use and handle lighting. Good, large display.”
Other judges called the Page Design as “cleanest design of all entrants. Very modern look and pleasing to the eye!”
In the serious column category, Mark Stoub of Kyle won second place, as the judges said, “Thoughtful columns filled with insight related to daily walks with a dog.”
Members of the 2016 staff included Moses Leos III, David White, Christine Thorpe, Mark Stoub, Paige Lambert, Nathan Latsha, Tracy Mack, Wendie Hyer, Jim Darby, Pam Patino, Becky Tinney, Susie Ruckel, Greg Gillenwater, Lincoln Ramirez, Samantha Smith, Clint Younts, Cyndy Slovak-Barton, Quixem Ramirez, Wayland Clark and Logan McCulloch.