By Phil Kaplan
It’s not unusual that the four winners of the Associated Press Sports Editors college scholarships are determined to be journalists after graduating college.
All four are doing it their own way, including working for school media and gaining valuable experience with professional organizations.
David Lazar, who will be a sophomore at Hofstra, was awarded the Jack Berninger Scholarship; Evan Petzold a junior at Central Michigan, will receive the Roy Hewitt Scholarship; Eli Lederman, a senior at Missouri, was awarded the Tim Wheatley Scholarship; and Kris Rhim, a junior at Springfield (Mass.) College, will receive the Joe Sullivan Scholarship.
APSE gives four scholarships of $1,500 to collegiate sports journalists. The scholarships are awarded based on the quality of the journalism, academic record and need. The scholarship was established in 2007 by then-APSE president Mike Fannin. All four winners will also be given APSE student memberships.
Lazar is majoring in journalism although that wasn’t the plan. His mother wanted him to focus on engineering and math, so as a compromise Lazar has been taking math classes at Hofstra, the only school he applied with a journalism track.
“There’s something about pursuing something you love,” said Lazar, who is from Annandale, N.J.
Lazar will be the assistant sports editor of the Hofstra Chronicle in the fall and will host sports shows on WRHU-FM as well as contribute to Destination Hockey with coverage of the New York Islanders for Drive4Five.
Petzold has had a busy summer working as an intern at the Colorado Springs Gazette as well as taking online classes at Central Michigan so he can graduate in December of 2020.
He will be the sports editor in the fall for Central Michigan Life after spending the winter and spring as assistant sports editor with beat reporter duties for football, women’s basketball and baseball.
Petzold, who is from the Metro Detroit area, also finds time to work as a high school reporter for ESPN 100.9 FM and as a contributor for Wolverines Wire and freelance prep football games for The Detroit News.
“I’m trying to get as many opportunities and writing as much possible,’’ said Petzold.
Rhim has been working this summer as an editorial fellow at the hometown Philadelphia Magazine. His assignments have been a mix of sports and business topics.
As a freshman he worked for the school newspaper, the Springfield Student, and was responsible for women’s soccer, men’s basketball and lacrosse. He has also hosted radio shows as well as a television show dedicated to sports debates.
However, the summer of Rhim’s freshman year and the work he did at the Philadelphia-based Billy Penn website on social justice and race relations changed his journalism path.
“I want to give my voice to people who don’t have a voice, whether it’s sports or not sports,” said Rhim.
Lederman, who is from Mamaroneck, N.Y., has spent the summer as an intern working for The Tulsa World.
In the spring, he was and intern in London covering soccer.
“I have a new understanding of sports journalism,” said Lederman. “You have to love it and commit to it.”
When he returns to Columbia, Mo., in the fall, he will be the enterprise senior writer at the Missourian. He will also serve as managing editor for Tiger Kickoff, the special section produced for Missouri football games. It’s a step up from a year ago when he was the beat reporter for Missouri football.
The APSE Scholarship committee is made up of Chris Thomas of the Detroit Free Press; Erik Hall of USA TODAY Network; Julie Jag of the Santa Cruz (Calif.) Sentinel; David Rivera of The Record; Matt Stephens of the Charlotte Observer; Rana Cash of the Courier-Journal and Phil Kaplan of the Knoxville News Sentinel.