The Lufkin Daily News earned six second-place and two fourth-place awards in the Texas Press Association’s annual Texas Better Newspaper Contest, as announced Saturday at the TPA Convention & Trade Show in Denton.

The LDN competed in Division 2 against newspapers including the Baytown Sun, The (Clute) Facts, Fort Bend Herald & Texas Coaster, Galveston County Daily News, Longview News-Journal, Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel, New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, Tyler Morning Telegraph and Victoria Advocate for work published in part of 2019 and 2020.

“To have such a strong showing competing against such an accomplished field is testimony to the hard work and talent of our team,” managing editor Jeff Pownall said. “Our industry has faced a lot of challenges in recent years, but nothing dampens the passion of the skilled members of our staff who inform our community each day.”

The editorial staff was awarded second place in the General Excellence category for what judges called “a real sense of enterprise work, reflected in the design, that set this paper apart. Overall, good depth of news coverage that was a step ahead of most other papers in this group, too.”

Staff photographer Joel Andrews placed second in news photography for a portfolio judges called “a good collection of photos illustrating some unfortunate events. It was great that the photographer was in the right place at the right time.”

Andrews also earned second place for sports photography for an entry judges singled out as “great moment captures” that were “technically well executed and well presented in the paper.”

Andrews also was praised along with sports editor Josh Havard and contributing writer Gary Stallard in the LDN’s fourth-place Sports Coverage entry.

“Great photography! Can I say that again?” the judges wrote. “Very good game coverage.”

News editor Stacy Faison picked up second place in the Headline Writing category for an entry that included a headline for a story about an artist painting a mural of Lufkin’s national champion Little League teams on the side of a downtown building.

“Painting the corners: The wordplay on baseball and the artistic font draw the reader in while the art completes the package,” judges wrote. “Well-played.”

Faison, Havard and Charm magazine art director Lance Kingrey earned fourth place in the Page Design category for a portfolio of news, opinion, sports and lifestyle pages.

“All four pages are striking. Well laid out,” judges wrote. “The front page comes on a bit loud for my taste, but it certainly does invite the reader to pick up The Lufkin Daily News. The other pages are nicely done as well and have nice contrast one from the other. Good work!”

Charm magazine won second place in the Best Magazine category for an issue created by former Charm editor Melissa Crager and designed by Kingrey that judges said was well-written by Crager and contributing writers Jackie Malota and Tim Monzingo, with “nice use of photos throughout” shot by Andrews, Monzingo and current Charm editor Leslie Nemec.

Our annual high school football Preview magazine earned second-place honors in the Special Section category for Kingrey, Havard and Stallard, with judges calling Kingrey’s cover “spectacular” and praising the text formatting and use of photos throughout.