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WATCH NOW: Times sports writer James Boyd wins 2 APSE awards in nationwide contest
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WATCH NOW: Times sports writer James Boyd wins 2 APSE awards in nationwide contest

James Boyd

Times sports reporter James Boyd

The Times' James Boyd received a pair of nods in the Associated Press Sports Editors' annual writing contest.

MUNSTER — James Boyd’s passion for the Region is vividly expressed in the way he writes stories, and he’s being recognized on a national level for his talents.

On Thursday, the Associated Press Sports Editors group announced the top-10 nominations for its yearly contest and Boyd was nominated for a long-form feature and a project in 2020. Final placements of the top 10 will be announced in the coming weeks.

“The work always shows,” Boyd said. “I put my heart and soul into the work. Honestly it’s not possible without the families and people I talk to in the Region.

“I think the biggest thing I’m proud of is the relationships I have. Each of those stories came from the relationships I’ve built over time and a sincere amount of trust. The result is something special.”

More than 12,000 Hoosiers have died from COVID-19 since March 2020. There are real names, faces and human stories behind that staggering number. This Sunday, The Times partners with 11 Indiana news agencies to share the stories of dozens of “Hoosiers We’ve Lost” in a special print section and online presentation. Watch for it Sunday.

Last March, Boyd wrote about Luke Savage, who was Victory Christian’s point guard, leading the team to a 34-4 record. Savage and his older brother Ben, who ran track at IUPUI, were adopted from Ethiopia in 2008 a few years after their parents died of complications from HIV. It was a powerful story about their journey from Ethiopia, adapting to a new culture and new family, and the brothers’ faith in God.

Humble beginnings gift Victory Christian's Luke Savage with 'servant's heart'

A few months later, the country tried to find understanding and healing in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The Times started a series called Open Dialogue, which provided local coaches and athletes a forum to discuss their experiences and thoughts. The series included:

• Calumet basketball coach Dominique Nelson, the first black head coach in program history, questioning if black lives really mattered.

OPEN DIALOGUE: Calumet's Dominique Nelson has one question, 'Do black lives really matter?'

• Merrillville basketball coach Bo Patton, also the first black head coach in his program's history, sharing his experiences as a black man in America.

OPEN DIALOGUE: Merrillville's Bo Patton speaks on his experiences as a Black man in America

• Then-Calumet football coach Rick Good, the son of a cop, supporting racial injustice protests.

OPEN DIALOGUE: As the son of a cop, Calumet's Rick Good fully supports racial injustice protests

• Former Andrean and Goshen College guard Colin Flowers wanting justice for Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

OPEN DIALOGUE: Andrean grad, Goshen College guard Colin Flowers wants justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor

Boyd credits then-sports editor Mike Clark for initially pitching the idea, and Boyd leaned on his relationships with coaches in the community for powerful storytelling.

“I didn’t want one black person to be the voice of what was going on in the world,” Boyd said. “I’m thankful I was able to get more than one, and it kind of just took off from there. Again, it goes back to relationships. I think that comes from showing up and being there before all this happened.”

The Times is competing against a number of papers across the country grouped by circulation size. Other papers grouped with The Times are the Indianapolis Star, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Charlotte Observer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Detroit News, to name a few from the second-largest category grouping.

James Boyd's memorable stories from 2020

WATCH NOW: Sports reporter James Boyd's memorable stories from 2020

Throughout an unprecedented year, I tried my best to write words that matter. Thank you all for reading.

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Lake County Sports Reporter

James Boyd is the Lake County prep sports reporter for The Times. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a proud native of Romeoville, Illinois. Before anything else, his main goal in life is to spread love and light.

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