• Worth Watching:

The Communicator


Washington Post reporter earns Award for Excellence in Coverage of Youth Sports

The writer of a series of feature stories about student-athletes in various sports who were overcoming unusual challenges presented by their surroundings was selected as the winner for the Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Youth Sports.

Roman Stubbs, a sports writer for The Washington Post, was selected from among entrants across the country for the award that is presented annually by the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State.

Stubbs’ entry for the award included stories about four separate subjects:

  • the nephew of a polygamist cult leader in Utah;
  • a high school wrestler who was forced to cut his dreadlocks instead of forfeiting a wrestling match in New Jersey;
  • a girls’ lacrosse team on the New York-Canadian border that had been prevented from playing the sport; and
  • a high school football team of a school at the heart of the nation’s opioid crisis.

Portrait of Roman Stubbs

Roman Stubbs

“We’re very excited to celebrate Roman’s work,” said John Affleck, the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism in Society and director of the Curley Center. “He’s clearly someone who knows the craft of reporting and writing extremely well, and is deserving of this honor.”

After entries from around the country were whittled to a pair of finalists by faculty members, a team of external judges determined the winner.

Those judges — Audrey Snyder of The Athletic, Jim Buzinski of Outsports, and Malcom Moran, the director of the Sports Capital Journalism Program at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and the inaugural director of the Curley Center — were unanimous in their selection of Stubbs’ work.

They cited its alignment with the mission of the award, the depth and quality of the reporting and writing, and the variety of people featured and topics addressed.

Stubbs is a 2011 graduate of the University of Montana and joined the Post as a staff writer in 2012. Before becoming a high school sports enterprise writer, he served as the beat writer covering University of Maryland athletics for five years.