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SRIN likes to think it has the best sports writers around - and now it has some proof.
Former SRIN sports reporter Paul J. Spetrini - currently editor of the Standard-Times - and sports reporter Eric Rueb were both honored by the New England Newspaper and Press Association for work they did in 2010.
Spetrini placed top three in the "Weekly Class 1 Sports Column" category for a column he wrote on the Exeter-West Greenwich girls softball team and their quest for a title after the tragic death of coach Mike Messier in late February.
The award is the first of any for Spetrini.
Rueb placed top three in the "Weekly Class 1 General News" category for a story he wrote on the softball field the high school team plays on being dedicated and renamed to "Mike Messier Field."
It is Rueb's first NENPA award; he has won Rhode Island Press Association awards for feature writing, column writing and photography.
The NENPA will announce winners of the contest at their annual conference on Feb. 12.