The Journal’s Geoff Grammer and 610 KNML radio’s Jeff Siembieda this week were named New Mexico’s Sportswriter and Sportscaster of the year for 2021 by the National Sports Media Association.
It is the third New Mexico Sportscaster of the Year honor for Siembieda, the co-host of the Opening Drive morning show for KNML The Sports Animal.
For Grammer, who joined the Journal in 2012, this is his first NMSA honor.
Both are invited along with winners from each state and national winners to the NSMA’s 62nd awards weekend and national convention June 25-27 in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Turner Sports’ Ernie Johnson and ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt were co-winners of National Sportscaster of the Year, and ESPN.com‘s Jeff Passan won the national sportswriter honor.
Grammer’s primary beat since joining the Journal has been covering the University of New Mexico Lobo men’s basketball team.
In 2021, he covered the Lobos as they played the 2020-21 season outside the state of New Mexico due to state health restrictions; the firing of Lobos coach Paul Weir and hiring of Richard Pitino; the financial deficits in the UNM Athletic department caused, in part, by losing home football and basketball games for the fiscal year; the Albuquerque Isotopes’ return to play after no season in 2020; helped with coverage of New Mexico United’s pursuit of a publicly financed soccer stadium; and led the staff’s general coverage of COVID restrictions on college and professional sports.
NSMA voting starts with a nomination process in each state among sports journalists who have been or are current members of the organization. Two finalists are then put on a ballot for a final vote. Nominees can not vote for themselves.
The Journal’s Ken Sickenger won the NSMA award last year and Journal staffer Rick Wright has won it five times.
A list of all past winners for each state and national awards is available online at nationalsportsmedia.org.