May 1, 2015

Whitney N. Yarber, Communications Specialist

Eric Jackson Wins Jim Murray Memorial Foundation Sports Writing Contest

Eric Jackson

VALDOSTA – Eric Jackson, a senior journalism student, won the Valdosta State University Jim Murray Sports Writing Contest for a second time and will go on to compete at the national level against students from 30 other schools. Jackson won the award in 2012.

“I am thrilled to win the award again,” said Jackson. “I am proud to call myself VSU’s first two-time winner and hopefully there will be many more to come. I am honored to have my name engraved on the same plaque as the great Jim Murray.”

The Murray Scholar Scholarship Program, funded by the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, awards five $5,000 scholarships annually to outstanding print journalism students, with emphasis on sports journalism, through a nationwide essay competition.

Jackson’s winning article focuses on Thomas Macera, head coach of the Valdosta State University softball program, and how he brought the team to national prominence.

“I chose to write about this story because it travels beyond the sports realm,” shared Jackson. “It’s about a man who found his true passion in an unexpected place and created a system that took him and his team to unexpected heights. Macera’s past experiences — good and bad — are what makes him the coach he is today.”

The article will now compete against the winning entry from 30 of the top journalism schools in the United States. A team of professional sports journalists will judge the entries for the $5,000 prizes and a possible trip to Los Angeles, Calif.

Jackson, who is from Roswell, is a sports reporter for the Lake City Reporter in Lake City, Fla. He was the sports editor for The Spectator for two years.

Contact Dr. Ted Geltner, assistant professor of journalism, at or (229) 333-7343 for more information.

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