SEOPA Presents Excellence in Craft and Special Communications Awards at Annual Conference

07 Oct

SEOPA(Badin, NC) At its 52nd annual conference, held in Lakeland, Fla., October 5-8, the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (SEOPA) recognized winners in its Excellence in Craft competition, which is sponsored by Mossy Oak. First, second, and third place winners were announced in ten categories. Also included in the ceremony were presentations of the Sharon Rushton Award (recognizing outstanding coverage of youth in the outdoors), the Realtree Website Award, and the Conference Site Story featuring Fontana Village, NC, where SEOPA met in 2014.

The various categories were well entered by many prestigious outdoor communicator members. Most judges are non-members and are blinded as to the identity of the entrants. One judge remarked, “The overall quality and clarity of writing was extremely strong.” This statement can be applied to all the categories in the competition.

(Left to Right) Kevin Tate of EIC Sponsor Mossy Oak with winners of the Photography category: Mike Giles, Tes Jolly and Keith Sutton. Photo by Joella Bates.

(Left to Right) Kevin Tate, of EIC sponsor Mossy Oak, with winners of the Photography category: Mike Giles, Tes Jolly and Keith Sutton. Photo by Joella Bates.

MO color Logo 4color

Among the organization members recognized for their professional accomplishments were a number of multiple winners. They included Jim Ferguson for earning first and second places in the Audio (Radio) category. Ron Jolly garnered both first and second places in the Video category. Mike Giles won first place in both the Photography and Conference Site Story categories. Matt Markey won the Sharon Rushton Award and placed second in the Daily Newspaper category. Richard Simms won first place in the Magazine (Long), second place in the Weekly Newspaper, and third place in the Outdoor Entrepreneur Project categories. Keith Sutton placed first in the Daily Newspaper and third in the Photography categories. Jim Casada earned second and third places in the Conference Site Story, second in the Magazine (Short), second place in the Outdoor Entrepreneur Project, and third place in the Weekly Newspaper categories. A complete list of winners and their entries follows.



1st Place: Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands

Charlotte Harbor Promotional Video

2nd Place: FLW

FLW Media Guide 

3rd Place: Crimson Trace

Jurassic World Utilizes

Crimson Trace Lasers



1st Place: Hovey Smith

Hovey’s Knives of China

2nd Place: Jim Casada

Promotion of Bird-Dog Days 

3rd Place: Richard Simms

Scenic City Fishing Charters Newsletter



1st Place: Jim Ferguson

“Michael Waddell”

The Revolution with Jim and Trav –

2nd Place: Jim Ferguson

“Jim Shockey”

The Revolution with Jim and Trav –

3rd Place: Larry Rea

“Boat Rag, Crows, Shooting, and Fishing”

Larry Rea Outdoors – ESPN Sports 790-AM


1st Place: Ron Jolly

“Prescribed Burn”

2nd Place: Ron Jolly

“Warm-season Prescribed Burn”

3rd Place: Gary Sefton

“Turkey Hunting and Calling With Gary Sefton” DVD


1st Place: Doug Kelly

Alaska’s Greatest Outdoor Legends

2nd Place: Jimmy Jacobs

Hiking Georgia: Atlanta

3rd Place: Whit Gibbons

Snakes of the Southeast



1st Place: John Sloan

“Wish I Had Known”

Wilson Post

2nd Place: Richard Simms

“He Called the Woods Home:

The Catfish and the Girl”

3rd Place: Jim Casada

“Ruminations of an Old Rocking Chair”

Smoky Mountain Times


1st Place: Keith Sutton

“The Iron Bear”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

2nd Place: Matt Markey

“Lion’s Killing is a Lot of Things”

The Toledo (Ohio) Blade

3rd Place: Brent Frazee

“A Big Buck Was on Her Bucket List”

Kansas City Star


1st Place: Mike Giles

“Harvest Time Buck”

The Meridian (Miss.) Star

2nd Place: Tes Jolly

“Foxy Tree Dweller”

Alabama Forests

3rd Place: Keith Sutton

“Redwing Singing in Sunflowers”

Arkansas Agriculture


(1,000 words or less)

1st Place: J. Wayne Fears

“The Magic Vest”

Gun Hunter Magazine

2nd Place: Jim Casada

“Christmas Heartbreak”

Smoky Mountain Living

3rd Place: John Flores

“The Pond”

American Waterfowler Magazine


(more than 1,000 words)

1st Place: Richard Simms

“Hunts for Warriors”

Tennessee Wildlife Magazine

2nd Place: Jill Easton

“Wild for Asparagus”

New Pioneer

3rd Place: Monte Burke

“The Legend of Lefty”

Garden & Gun



1st Place: Jay Feimster

2nd Place: Jay Feimster

3rd Place: Richard Simms


1st Place:   Mike Giles

“Fontana Village Resort Awaits”

The Meridian (Miss.) Star

2nd Place: Jim Casada

“Enjoying Fall in the Backside of Heaven”

The Rock Hill (S.C.) Herald

3rd Place: Jim Casada

“Outdoor Writers Come to the Smokies”

Smoky Mountain Times


Matt Markey

“Dastardly Device-less Day”

The Toledo (Ohio) Blade