Reading Eagle sportswriter Rich Scarcella has been named the winner of one of the top prizes in the Football Writers Association of America’s 30th Annual Best Writing Contest.
Scarcella received first place in the feature film category for his profile of former Penn State player Adam Taliaferro, who recovered from a spinal cord injury to lead the Nittany Lions on the field for another year. late in their 2001 season opener.
“A moving look from yesterday and today on a success against all odds,” commented the judge.
This is the fifth time he has been recognized in the FWAA competition, but the first time he has won first place.
Scarcella has also been awarded several times in writing competitions organized by the Associated Press Sports Editors, the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors and the Keystone Media Awards.
He began covering Penn State football for the Reading Eagle in 1989 and is in his 34th season on the beat. His coverage appears in seven other MediaNews Group publications in the Philadelphia area.
The Athletic’s David Ubben placed second in the feature film category and ESPN.com’s David Hale finished third.
CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd took first place in the gaming stories category, ESPN.com’s Dave Wilson for column writing, and Tom Shanahan of TomShanahanReport.com for business.
Founded in 1941, the FWAA is made up of men and women across North America who cover college football.