Duck hunting is a very popular pastime in Alabama. So is the competition to supply the art for the waterfowl stamp required for all those licensed to hunt migratory waterfowl in the state.

Alabama artists are invited to enter the 2018 art contest, which is open now through Feb. 9. The winning artwork will be featured as the design of the 2019-20 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp. Sale of the stamp is used to purchase, establish and improve migratory waterfowl habitat.

John Denney of Alexander City was the winner of this year’s contest with his painting of an American green-winged teal. This makes him a three-time winner, having previously won the 2014-15 and 2009-10 contests. Artists are ineligible to submit an entry for three years after winning the contest.

“I am very honored to become a three-time winner,” Denney said. “There are only a few other artists that have done it. I consider myself in good company.”

The competition is open only to resident Alabama artists. Only original horizontal artworks depicting a species of North American migratory duck or goose will be considered. The American wigeon, Canada goose and American green-winged teal — depicted in the previous three winning artworks — are not eligible to be the subject of the 2019-20 waterfowl stamp.

The waterfowl stamp art contest not only helps to conserve waterfowl habitat, it also fosters a connection with the outdoors.

“Seeing ducks in the wild is spectacular,” Denney said. “I look forward to photographing them every season for new inspiration and ideas for paintings.”

The latest contest will take place in conjunction with the annual “Fins, Feathers and Flowers” event at Lakepoint Resort State Park in Eufaula, which runs Feb. 16-18. Similar to “Eagle Awareness Weekends” at Lake Guntersville, this event offers a variety of activities for wildlife watchers. The weekend is a cooperative effort of the Alabama State Parks Division and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

All eligible entries will be on display at Lakepoint State Park beginning Feb. 16. Three judges from the fields of art, ornithology and wildlife conservation will announce the winning waterfowl art the following day at 1 p.m. The media and public are invited to attend.

Entries may be drawn or painted in any medium, but cannot exceed 9 inches by 12 inches (15 inches by 18 inches matted). Contest entry forms are available online at Artists may also receive an entry form by contacting Seth Maddox with the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries at, or by calling 256-437-2788.

Sports briefs
• University of South Alabama senior Tiina Trutsi has been named first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America for women’s soccer. The native of Tallinn, Estonia, was tied for third on the team in goals (4) and tied for second in points (12) as the Jaguars won both the Sun Belt regular season and tournament championships in each of her four seasons at South Alabama.

In the classroom, she has a 4.00 grade point average, majoring in sociology. She has twice been a member of the SBC Commissioner’s List, for those with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

• Another USA senior, Danielle Henley, has been named to the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Women’s Scholar All-South Region Third Team. She previously earned First Team all-SBC honors and all-Sun Belt Tournament honors a week later. She is the only Sun Belt player to be named to any of the three all-region teams.

In her final year at South Alabama, Henley was tied for third on the team in goals with four, and fifth in points with nine. She started 20 times in 21 games, and recorded game-winning goals against Coastal Carolina in both the regular season and the Sun Belt Tournament final.

• USA volleyball middle blocker Kelley Hartman earned All-American Volleyball Coaches Association honors for the 2017 season. She received an all-Southeast honorable mention, making her the first Jaguar in program history to earn all-region honors. She was named first-team all-Sun Belt Conference this season after leading the league in blocks per set (1.29), while also finishing tied for second in hitting percentage (.321).

• Hartman’s teammate Kristina Alabastro, an outside hitter, earned second-team all-SBC honors. She averaged 2.26 kills per set, 2.16 digs per set and 0.63 blocks per set in conference matches.

• The University of Mobile’s Annie Kate Hudson has been named to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District Volleyball Team in District 1 of the College Division. She was named the Southern States Athletic Conference’s Setter of the Year, First-Team All-Conference, and earned her third career SSAC All-Academic nod after shattering the single-season record for assists at UM with 1,535, which led the nation. She has managed to be this successful on the court while maintaining a 3.87 GPA toward her kinesiology degree.

• Hudson was one of five Rams named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Northeast Region First-Team All-Region roster. Joining her were Mirella Gatterdam (Northeast Region Player of the Year after tallying 521 kills, SSAC Player of the Year), Hannah Wentland (one of six players in school history with more than 1,000-plus kills), Jocelyn Mahayag (shattered the single-season record for digs with 668 and only 19 reception errors in 44 matches) and Alex Karcher (most efficient hitter in school history with a .334 hitting percentage, 369 kills and 120 blocks).

• Spring Hill College has had three Badgers earn Women’s Basketball Player of the Week honors from the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference this season. They are Tiffany Valentine (averaged 23.5 points and 11.5 rebounds), Jewel Hill (averaged 20.0 points and 6.5 rebounds) and Elise Reilly (not only posted her season-high of 32 points, she also set a new 3-point standard for the Badgers by knocking down 10 3-pointers to break her own school record of nine).

• United Soccer Coaches selected three SHC players to its NCAA Division II Men’s All-Region Teams. Sophomore midfielder Alex Lipinski earned a first-team spot after scoring a school-record 38 points. Senior forward Ibrahima Ndaw also appears on the first-team roster with eight goals and eight assists. Junior Tapfuma Dimairo is a second-team team member as a defender.

Submitted | John Denney of Alexander City was the winner of the previous Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest with his painting of an American green-winged teal.