Four honored as NJ’s best in 2021 sports media

WINSTON-SALEM, NC- Two sportswriters and two sportscasters – including one who primarily covers the Cape-Atlantic League – have been named the best in New Jersey for 2021 according to the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) here.

James Kratch and Keith Sargeant, both of Advance Media, share the state’s Sportswriter of the Year honors. Jerry Recco of Rutgers Sports Properties and Tom Williams of Prime Events tied in the voting for New Jersey Sportscaster of the Year.

Williams – play-by-play voice, producer and online coordinator for Prime Events and occasional contributor to 97.3-ESPN – wins the state sportscaster award for a record 11th time.

In addition, Williams becomes the 12th sportscaster in the country to be selected the best in his state during five different decades. Vin Scully leads that list, winning in seven decades in California. Other prominent sportscasters on the list include Woody Durham of North Carolina, Ernie Harwell of Michigan, Chick Hearn of California and Marty Brennaman of Ohio.

Recco does play-by-play of Rutgers mens basketball, hosts a podcast and is studio host of Dallas Cowboys games and has covered both the Giants and Jets.

Kratch covers Rutgers sports for Advance Media, which supplies NJ.com and the Star-Ledger, and Sargeant covers college sports, with an emphasis on Rutgers.

Two prominent area writers – Mike McGarry of the Press of Atlantic City and Dave Weinberg of 97.3-ESPN and a chain of weekly newspapers – were finalists for the 2021 Sportswriter of the Year award. Weinberg has won the state award three times and McGarry twice.

Five others from the area have also been honored as best in the state in previous years. They include Mike Gill of 97.3-ESPN, Mike Frankel of Jersey Sports Zone, Brian Cunniff of Coast Sports Today, Sam Carchidi of the Inquirer and the late Harry Hoffman of the Press of Atlantic City.

In surrounding states, sportscaster Marc Zumoff and sportswriter JIm Salisbury, both of NBC Philadelphia, were Pennsylvania winners for the third time. Mike Breen, of MSG Network and the Knicks, was chosen New York’s top sportscaster for the first time. And Kevin Tresolini of the Wilmington News Journal was selected as Delaware’s top sportswriter for the 13th time.

The 2021 National Sportscaster of the Year was a tie between Ernie Johnson of Turner Sports and Scott Van Pelt of ESPN, both first time winners. The National Sportswriter of the Year for 2021 is Jeff Passan of ESPN.com, also selected for the first time.

Sportscasters selected for induction into the NSMA Hall of Fame are Hubie Brown and the late Stuart Scott. Sportswriters chosen for Hall of Fame induction include Curry Kirkpatrick and Jackie MacMullen.

Voting for the state and national winners was done by NSMA members throughout December. The NSMA plans to honor all winners at the group’s 63rd awards program in Winston-Salem from June 25-27.

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