Mike Mastovich

A veteran sports reporter for The Tribune-Democrat earned “Sports Writer of the Year” honors from the newspaper’s parent company Sunday.

CNHI LLC, which operates 90 newspapers in 22 states, named Mike Mastovich the chain’s top sports writer for 2020 within the company’s largest “Division I” papers.

“We’re so happy that Mike is receiving this recognition from our company. This honor is certainly well-deserved,” Editor Chip Minemyer said. “Mike has been a standout sports writer for many years, and has won numerous awards here in Pennsylvania. But being recognized by your company as the best at what you do is a very special accomplishment for him.”

Mastovich was honored based on three submissions, including UPJ coach Pat Pecora’s pursuit of a NCAA wrestling win record, a column about the 1975 Johnstown Jets’ championship run and a touchdown score last fall by a Greater Johnstown football player with physical disabilities.

Mastovich has been a sports page fixture for The Tribune-Democrat since 1986.

This marks his 35th year with the newspaper. The past year meant telling stories about COVID-19’s impact on the area sports schedule, as well as the loss of local sports icons, including Tommy Yewcic, Galen Head and Carlton Haselrig, he said.

“It’s a great honor to receive such recognition from our parent company CNHI,” Mastovich said. “This also is an honor shared with the dedicated team of editors, copy editors, photographers and reporters at The Tribune-Democrat who work so hard to cover local sports and news on a daily basis.”

CNHI Senior Vice President Bill Ketter said this year’s contest was distinguished by “keen competition” across all three divisions.

“We salute the winners for their reporting, writing, photography, video and creative skills in print and online. They served their communities with content readers need to know and want to read as they navigate the issues, joys and disappointments of community life,” he said.

David Hurst is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @TDDavidHurst and Instagram @TDDavidHurst.

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