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Media Service Awards


Melanie Laughman & John Cummings

Melanie Laughman
Cincinnati Enquirer
John Cummings
Miami Valley Newspapers

In 1991, the Ohio High School Athletic Association initiated a program entitled the Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity Program.  One aspect of the program was to honor those special individuals who bring great recognition to our high schools, coaches, and especially, our athletes through media's different forms.  Each of Ohio's six athletic districts was asked to put a process in place to gather nominations of individuals who fit this special category.  Our 2024 Media Award Recipients are Melanie Laughman and Mr. John Cummings. 

Melanie Laughman has been a long standing member of the High School Sports Coverage in the Tri-State area for many years.  She has been an integral part of the local media coverage in her 32 years at the Community Press and Recorder newspapers and the Cincinnati Enquirer.   She has promoted and acknowledged the many great things going on in interscholastic sports.   She is always very responsive, understanding, and accommodating to the needs of Athletic Directors and Coaches.

Melanie has played a huge part in the weekly and seasonal recognition of high school athletes.  Whether it be the weekly Enquirer Athletes of the Week or the Enquirer's end of the year High School Sports Awards, Melanie always goes above and beyond to make sure high school athletes are at the forefront of the athletic coverage in SW Ohio.    Melanie has always taken the time and effort to try to personalize each sport and make student-athletes feel special, while telling some unique stories.

In a male dominated industry, Melanie has been a driving force of success and positivity, especially inspiring young women who want to follow her steps in a sports media/digital content field.  Based on her years of service, the impact she's made, and her constant efforts to put our high school athletes/teams in the forefront, she is being recognized as the 2023-24 SWDAB Media Service Award recipient.

John Cummings, Posthumous recognition for dedication and commitment to high school sports as a writer for the Miami Valley Newspapers.  John was an 1986 graduate of Greenville High School where he wrestled and played soccer.  He started his writing career at the Greenville Advocate and since 1995 had been writing for the Miami Valley Newspapers.   

John was an incredible partner to the Franklin High School Athletic Department.  He was known for his dedication to giving athletes the attention they deserved.    John's passion was sports.  



Since the inception of this award, the following individuals have been honored as Media Service Recipients by the members of the Southwest District Athletic Board:

1997-98:        Ted Landis, Brookville Star; Warren Johnson, WPFB Radio, Middletown
1998-99:        Dave Long, Dayton Daily News; Duane Bachman, WPTW Radio, Piqua
1999-2000:    Don McDermott, Greenville Daily; Dave Schutte, Cincinnati Enquirer
2000-2001:    Mike Hartsock, WHIO TV, Dayton; Mark Huber, Wilmington News
2001-2002:    Kert Radel, WMOH Radio, Hamilton; Bill Liermann, WSWO Radio, Wilmington
2002-2003:    Jack Gordan, WPFB Radio, Middletown; Joe Neves, WPTW, Piqua
2003-2004:    Tom Gambel, DSA Sports, Cincinnati; John Popovich, WCPO Radio, Cincinnati
2004-2005:    Omar Williams, WHIO-TV, Retired; Ron Jackson, Dayton Daily News; Guy Fogle, WHIO TV
2005-2006:    Roger Barger, WKFI WSWO Sabina; Tom Groeschen, Cincinnati Enquirer
2006-2007:    Tom Archdeacon, Dayton Daily News; Ken Barhorst, Sidney Daily News
2007-2008:    Sonny Fulks, WPTW, 1590WPTW.com; Jerry Nardiello, Middletown Journal
2008-2009:    Enos Penningtonwww.newrichmond.localsportsradio.com ; Richard Crawford, The Clermont Suns Newspaper
2009-2010:    Chick LudwigJack Pohl, WDTN-Channel 2 Sports Director.
2010-2011:    Mike Dyer, Cincinnati Enquirer; Ron Nunnari, Englewood Independent
2011-2012:    Scott Ward, WTGR, Greenville; Jack Kramer, ScoresBroadcast.com
2012-2013:    Dirk AllenGeorge Vogel
2013-2014:    Mark Slaughter, WCPO-Channel 9; Rob Kiser, Piqua Daily Call.
2014-2015:    Matt Hammond, Bellefontaine Examiner; Eric Frantz, J.J. Huddle
2015-2016:    Marc Pendleton, Dayton Daily News; Rick Cassano, Cox Media Group
2016-2017:    Debbie Juniewicz, Cox Publications (Dayton Daily News, Springfield/Middletown news); David Fong, Troy Daily News, Piqua Daily Call, Sidney Daily Call
2017-2018:    Elise Jesse, WLWT, Cincinnati; Wade Linville, Brown County Press, Ripley Bee, News Democrat.
2018-2019:    Dale Barger, Greenville Daily Advocate; John Bombatch, Xenia Gazette.
2019-2020:    David Miller, Loveland Magazine (Editor & Publisher); Garth Shanklin, Clermont Sun (Sports Editor).
2020-2021:    No recipients due to pandemic.
2021-2022:    Bill Idle, Brookville Star; Scott Springer, Cincinnati Enquirer
2022-2023     Joe Danneman, Fox 19; Anthony "Tony" Tribble, Freelance Photographer

2023-2024     Melanie Laughman, Cincinnati Enquirer; John Cummings, Miami Valley Newspapers