BEVERLY — Matt Williams of The Salem News has been named the CNHI Sportswriter of the Year for 2012.
Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc., parent company of The Salem News, holds a company-wide 'Best of CNHI' contest each year to recognize the work of the journalists who produce 80 daily newspapers, 40 non-dailies, 120 websites and 144 community magazines in 22 states. There was a record number of entries (more than 800) in the 2011 competition.
Williams, 27, is the assistant sports editor of The Salem News. Judges selected his submitted entries — including stories on topics such as the Peabody High girls soccer team winning its first ever state championship, a first person account of how football helped a local squad cope with the Sept. 11 attacks, and the Boston Bruins' run to the Stanley Cup last spring — as the best among CNHI's largest newspapers.
"Willie has been with us a relatively short time," said David Olson, editor of The Salem News, "but he has had a major impact on the sports department, progressing from part-timer to assistant sports editor."
In critiquing his work, the CNHI judges said of Williams: "This writer had lots of knowledge of his subjects, from soccer to hockey to basketball to wrestling. You can tell he invested time in preparation and in story telling. His game stories, features and columns were all well-written and went beyond the obvious to enlighten the reader."
A graduate of both Peabody Veterans Memorial High School (2003) and the University of Maine (2007, where he majored in Journalism), Williams is a lifelong resident of Peabody. In his spare time he enjoys reading, working out and following both sports and politics.
You can reach him at email@example.com, by phone at 978-338-2669, and follow him on Twitter: @MattWilliams_SN.