Photo | First Place, Matthew Dees, “Brown Pelican on the Mobile Causeway”
The winners of the 2021 Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest have been announced. Area photographers finished atop several categories.
“The abundant diversity in Alabama’s landscape and native wildlife make it a photographer’s paradise,” Chris Blankenship, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), said. “From the North Alabama mountains to the state’s Gulf Coast beaches, the winning images in this year’s Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest highlight the natural beauty of our state.”
To see the top entries, visit flickr.com/photos/outdooralabama/albums/72157718137637166. A list of categories and local finalists are as follows:
Alabama State Parks — Second Place, Arthur James Davis, “Sunset at Meaher State Park”; Honorable Mention, John Marvin Hillsman III, “Gulf State Park Beach Pavilion”;
Birds — First Place, Matthew Dees, “Brown Pelican on the Mobile Causeway”;
Wildlife — Honorable Mention, Laurie L. Schaerer, “Fox Kits on Dauphin Island”;
Cold-Blooded Critters — First Place, Sean C. Grizzle, “Barracuda”; Third Place, Gwen Ainsworth, “Green Anole in Mobile”;
Bugs and Butterflies — Third Place, Thomas W. Peterson, “Green Lynx Spider and Bee on Zinnia in Daphne”;
Sweet Home Alabama — First Place, Gwen Ainsworth, “USS Alabama Battleship and Skyline in Mobile”; Third Place, Beth Cowan Drake, “Shrimp Boats in Bayou La Batre”; Honorable Mention, Linda P. McCullough, “Diner in Gulf Shores”;
Nature-Based Recreation — Second Place, Arthur James Davis, “Fishermen at Dauphin Island”;
Shoots and Roots — First Place, Arthur James Davis, “Fern with Dew Drops on Dauphin Island”; Third Place, Benjamin Rollings, “Live Oak at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge”; Honorable Mention, Arthur James Davis, “Spiderwort on Dauphin Island”;
Scenic — Honorable Mention, Barry Lee Miller, “Sunset on Fort Morgan”;
Young Photographers — First Place, Sophia Charlotte Haines (age 13), “Snowy Plover Chick in Fort Morgan.”
Sponsors of the 2021 photo contest include the Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association (ACEOA), Alabama State Parks and the Alabama Tourism Department. When the 2021 traveling exhibit schedule is finalized, it will be posted on outdooralabama.com.
Each winner will receive a prize pack and be featured in a traveling exhibit throughout 2021. First-place winners in each category will also receive a $50 gift card to Academy Sports + Outdoors (provided by ACEOA). Second-place winners in each category will receive a $25 Alabama State Parks gift card.
Changes set for beach sports group
The Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission has announced it is rebranding to Gulf Shores | Orange Beach Sports & Events. Organizers say the addition of leisure events will increase the organization’s promotional and grant support of existing events in the destination that generate a specific level of overnight stays in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in addition to attracting new events.
“Timing is everything and we desire to continue to elevate the quality of life for our local residents by attracting events and festivals that fit our family-friendly atmosphere on the Alabama Gulf Coast,” said Michelle Russ, vice president of sales, sports and events for GSOB Sports & Events. “We are applying a similar sports event grant framework for leisure events with various levels of support based on factors such as attendance and media coverage.”
The move will also alter the staff. Russ was previously the director of sales for the Sports Commission. Sarah Cooper, a former senior event coordinator, is now the Sports & Events operations manager. New to the team is Brittany Roh, who brings meetings sales experience from the Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa in Point Clear as an additional Sports & Events sales manager.
For information on upcoming events along Alabama’s Gulf Coast, visit GSOBsports.com or call 800-745-SAND.
- University of South Alabama track and field freshman Kyle Rademeyer has been voted the 2021 Sun Belt Conference Men’s Indoor Field Newcomer of the Year. Fourteen Jaguars were recognized as all-Sun Belt performers after their showings at the 2021 Sun Belt Indoor Championships.
Rademeyer won his first career Sun Belt pole vault title with a 5.36-meter effort. After competing at the Jaguar Invitational on Feb. 7, the Paarl, South Africa, native posted a 5.53-meter mark to earn a victory. This tops USA’s all-time performance list and ranks first in the conference.
Joining Rademeyer in earning first-team all-Sun Belt honors were Graham Collins (60m heptathlon), Joey Zayszyly (60m hurdles-heptathlon and 1000m), Ariel Atias (shot put), Carolien Millenaar (5000m) and Hanna-Mai Vaikla (shot put). Angeline Smit (shot put) claimed second-team accolades, while seven individuals claimed third-team honors: Dorian Curry (high jump), Sebastian Loschner (shot put), Ina Edstrom (pole vault) and the women’s distance medley relay team consisting of Abbey Weitenbeck, Rachel Hunter, Shay Lee and Silje Lindstad.
- Former USA men’s basketball player Trhae Mitchell is on the roster of Rio Grande Valley of the NBA G League. He’s the second member of last year’s senior class to continue his career at the professional level, with Josh Ajayi currently playing for Nantes in France’s LNB Pro B league.
Twice a third-team all-Sun Belt selection, Mitchell recorded 1,127 points, 704 rebounds, 310 assists, 185 blocks and 110 steals in 125 appearances for the Jags in his four years with the program.
- Two former USA women’s soccer players have signed professional contracts in Germany. Tabea Griss has signed to play at Borussia Monchengladbach in the Second Bundesliga Women’s League. Griss is set to play at center back in a defensive role. Athanasia Moraitou has signed to play in the top women’s professional division, the Bundesliga Women’s League, with SV Meppen. She is set to play as a center midfielder.
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