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National Wrestling Media Association names National Wrestling Journalism Award winners

ST. LOUIS - The National Wrestling Media Association, the national professional organization for wrestling journalists, has named the recipients of its Annual Wrestling Journalist Awards. Print Journalist of the Year – Willie Saylor, The Open Mat

and W.I.N. Magazine. Saylor was a champion wrestler for the historic program at Easton High School in Pennsylvania, ranked among the nation’s best. Over four years ago, Saylor began writing for The Open Mat website, with a special focus as its high school wrestling editor. The niche he has created has been recruiting analysis. Saylor modeled his coverage on football recruiting journalism, and transferred that model to wrestling. He has been a regular contributor and columnist for W.I.N. Magazine in recent years. Broadcaster of the Year – Ben Hupke, Hupke Wrestling Productions. Hupke was the play-by-play announcer for University of Northern Iowa wrestling, as well as for Waverly- Shell Rock High School. He also moderated the Brad Penrith Radio Show each week, when Penrith was head coach at UNI. Since then, Hupke has done a number of other regular audio broadcasts through Hupke Wrestling Productions ( He produces broadcasts for nationally ranked Iowa City West High School, Div. III national champion Wartburg, NAIA national champion Grand View, as well as Davenport Assumption High School. Publicist/SID of the Year – Steve Lomangino, Lehigh University. Lomangino serves as Media Relations Director for





Lehigh University. With support from Lehigh’s wrestling coaches and the wrestling community there, Lomangino learned about the sport and developed a passion for it. In addition to handling all sports information duties for one of the nation’s top Div. I col- lege teams, Steve also does the commentary for the radio broadcasts of all of Lehigh’s matches, both home and away. Photographer of the Year – Brooke Zumas, Lehigh Valley Athletic Club. Zumas grew up around wrestling. Her father Nick is very active in the sport. Her early photo assignments were Lehigh wrestling matches, local high school events and the Beast of the East Tournament. Her success led her to shoot the NCAA Championships, which she has done five times. She became the photographer for the Lehigh Valley Athletic Club, and began shooting many major USA Wrestling events including the Olympic Trials, the U.S. Open, and the World Team Trials. Website of the Year – The Open Mat. Over four years ago,

past wrestlers Ray Brinzer and Eric Bettermann started an inter- net project called The Open Mat. Brinzer competed for Oklahoma State and Iowa, and Bettermann at Minnesota, and both also wrestled on the international level. It was first devel- oped as a message board, then was expanded to a website. Brinzer provided the technical focus, and they both pursued content. More than two years ago, Willie Saylor was brought on to expand high school coverage and provide editing. The web- site has doubled its traffic annually. The site covered more than Continued on page 33

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