Durango Herald sports writer Dale Strode has covered outstanding area high school wrestlers since 2000, including two recent state champions.
Earlier this week, Strode received word he also had won a championship of sorts.In the most recentissue of Wrestling USA Magazine, Strode was named the periodical’s Sportswriter of the Year, an award bestowed on the best in the business by the magazine since 1971.
Strode was nominated by Bayfield High School head wrestling coach Herb Stinson, who recently retired after 30 years of coaching. Stinson is a former Wrestling USA Magazine Coach of the Year.
“Dale, to me, is an outstanding supporter of sports,” Stinson said in his nomination letter to the magazine. “He is an advocate for young people in all sports, but especially of those who wrestle and for what it stands for. Wrestling is about going the extra mile, and Dale exemplifies the meaning of going the extra mile to be one of the best.
“He understands just how important sports are in our lives. His love for covering greatness in kids ranks at the top.”
Strode covers Bayfield, Durango and Ignacio high schools during the winter wrestling season. He covered all three of Alex Peña’s Class 2A state wrestling titles for Ignacio High School, including his runner-up finish this season at the CHSAA Boys Wrestling State Championships at the Pepsi Center in Denver. He also covered Aaron Velasquez’s back-to-back Class 3A titles for Bayfield High School.
“This is a wonderful, well-deserved honor for an outstanding journalist,” said Don Lindley, Durango Herald managing editor. “Dale Strode always approaches his reporting work with energy and compassion. He also is a gifted writer who connects not only with sports fans but also with casual readers of our sports pages.”