Freelance sports writer Dan McDonald, a regular contributor to The Independent, was named the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Sports Writer of the Year, an overall honor that included two first place awards for his cover story on UL football coach Mark Hudspeth (College Feature) and his coverage of the Cajuns’ New Orleans Bowl victory (College Event). He also won third place for his Independent online feature that looked back on the Lafayette Little League’s 2005 Little League World Series run.

dan_mcdonald_bioMcDonald's honors came in Class II competition, which includes publications across the state with circulation below 50,000; the winners were announced over the weekend in Natchitoches.

Here’s what the judges had to say on the Hud piece: “Too many stories back into the plot. I like how this winning story on Mark Hudspeth breaks fast out of the gate. The aggressive approach keeps the story moving and easy to read. The writer states the coach envisions his Cajuns ‘breaking loose from the bonds of mediocrity and not wasting any time about it.’ In this case, the coach definitely met up with the right reporter.”

The sportswriter, who last year was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America Hall of Fame, won another first for a column on the history of Sun Belt football for a 10th anniversary book on the conference.

McDonald, who also writes a regular golf column for The Daily Advertiser, garnered first place in the pro event writing competition for his coverage of the Louisiana Open golf tournament and a second place for a column on a charity golf event. In all, McDonald took home four firsts, one second and one third, accumulating the most points (points awarded on a 3-2-1 basis for first through third place) in 14 regular writing categories to be named Sports Writer of Year. This year marks the fourth time McDonald has earned the top honor in his career.

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