SEOPA Announces Winners of 2018 Excellence in Craft, Special Awards

FLORENCE, S.C. — The best work of the nation’s brightest outdoor communicators was recognized with the 2018 Excellence in Craft awards at the 54th Southeastern Outdoor Press Association conference Thursday.

The awards, sponsored by Mossy Oak, celebrate the best among the SEOPA members’ works of the previous year across the full spectrum of online, print, video and audio media.

“SEOPA’s Best in Craft contest is true to its name,” said Kevin Tate, 2nd vice president and EIC chairman. “The group’s membership brings an extraordinary bevy of talent to the field, and the best of their handiwork in any given year is truly a powerful selection of video, audio, photography and prose.”

Judges included outdoor communicators, mainstream journalists and professionals who've dedicated their lives to mentoring youngsters. They included members of the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association, the Mississippi Press Association, Camp Compass Academy, the National Rifle Association, the Professional Outdoor Media Association and more.

“It is Mossy Oak’s honor to be the presenting sponsor of these awards, because our company’s beginnings relied heavily on their help, and the obsessions their work continues to inspire is critical to maintaining the outdoor traditions we hold dear,” Toxey Haas, Mossy Oak founder and CEO said.

Daryl Ratajczak won the Sharon Ruston Award, which recognizes the best communication work related to mentoring and encouraging youngsters in the outdoors. He also claimed top prize in the Outdoor Entrepreneurial Project and Magazine Feature categories. Other first place winners included Capital Sportsman, for Industry Public Relations, Jim Ferguson for Audio Project and Ron Jolly for Video Project. Brent Frazee placed first in both the Online Publishing and Daily Newspaper categories. Whit Gibbons won the Weekly Newspaper category, and Tes Jolly took top honors in Photography. Keith Sutton placed first in the Magazine Short category, and Richard Simms took top honors in the category of Conference Site Story. Ken Perrotte won the Realtree Website Award.