Claremore Daily Progress Sports Editor Tim Ritter was awarded first place for his photography Saturday during the Associated Press/Oklahoma News Executives competition in Norman.
There were 179 entries in Division C, which comprised newspapers with less than 7,000 in circulation.
Ritter joined the Claremore Daily Progress staff in January 2010 after a two-year stint as sports editor with the Siloam Springs (Ark.) Herald-Leader.
His three photo packages of Claremore football and soccer were awarded first place.
Judge Jim Slasiarek of The Gazette (Iowa) in Cedar Rapids said of Ritter ‘s photos, “A clear collection of sports images. The soccer photos were the best of the bunch.”
"The Progress has never had better sports coverage that we have had in the past three years," said Progress Editor Randy Cowling. "Ritter has raised the bar in telling the stories of Rogers County athletes."
"His photography is sharp and catch the action our readers will always remember. Following a game or match, our readers call in asking if the photos are ready because they want copies for their scrapbooks and to share with family and friends," Cowling said.
Ritter’s expertise in sports photography over the past 17 years has benefited newspapers in Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
“I want to thank the people of the Associated Press and the Oklahoma News Executives for honoring my photography skills,” Ritter said. “Sports photography is definitely my passion and I like to tell the story of the sporting events through my images.”
Throughout the years, Claremore’s sports editor has won first, second and third place awards in sports photography from the Texas Press Association, Arkansas Press Association and the Oklahoma Press Association.
The first-place award from the Associated Press, though, is one that Ritter said he will cherish for many years to come.
“I’ve never had a photography class,” Ritter added. “One day I just picked up a camera and started taking pictures. It’s been a lot of trial-and-error, but every once in a while, you’re able to take that ‘Wow’ shot that catches people’s attention.”
Ritter was also honored with a second place award in the Non-Page One Layout category.