SETCA names Pruett Media Person of Year

Published 5:39 pm Friday, December 9, 2016

The News staff report

Port Arthur News sports writer Gabriel Pruett has been named the Van Thomas Media Person of the Year by the Southeast Texas Coaches Association.

The association made the announcement Friday on Twitter.

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“I have never worried about awards in my career,” Pruett said. “Sure, it is great to be recognized for your work, but that has never been what I am concerned with. This award, though, really means a lot because it comes from a group of people I have now worked with for almost 16 years and have tons of respect for.

“Southeast Texas is truly blessed with some great coaches. I have made some great friends through the years, and for them to give me this token of appreciation is really one of the top honors I have received in my career.”

Pruett began his journalism career with The News in 2000 and moved to The Orange Leader in 2002, where he would stay for the next decade before returning to Port Arthur. He regularly covers high school athletes, as well as Lamar State College Port Arthur men’s basketball, Lamar University women’s basketball and Lamar softball.

The News sports editor I.C. Murrell, whose journalism career has lasted as long as Pruett’s, said Pruett is the most passionate about sports on all levels among journalists he’s been around in his career.

“The good Lord blessed Gabe to be around Southeast Texas sports and use his knowledge and frames of reference as tools to connect coaches and players to the very public we serve,” said Murrell, who joined The News in August 2015. “He has used such tools from the very beginning to give me a clear understanding of local sports, from the history to the present, from the heroes of yesterday to the stars of today.

“His own, unique — and I mean, unique — way of communicating with our local sports figures is something we all can celebrate and will remember for a long time. He has combined his passion for local sports with an all-out work ethic to help us build a dependable and reliable product for our readers on a daily basis, and — bias aside — he is most deserving of the honor the Southeast Texas Coaches Association have bestowed upon him.”

Pruett will receive his award during a SETCA banquet on Jan. 28.

Pruett added he’s honored to receive the award and is looking forward to many more years at The News giving high school athletes their well-deserved attention.