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Mike and Cheryl Wertman receive state-wide award for coverage of high school basketball

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 July 2020 at 10:52 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Mike and Cheryl Wertman cover a local track and field competition in this photo from April 30, 2019. The two were honored by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York for their commitment to covering high school sports in Orleans and Niagara counties.

A husband and wife who have been covering local high school sports for several decades have received a state-wide award for their dedication.

Mike Wertman, the Orleans Hub sports editor, and Cheryl Wertman, the Hub’s sports photographer, have been recognized with the “Golden Media Award” by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York.

Brett Sippel, coach of the Wilson boys varsity team, nominated the Wertmans.

“Mike and Cheryl are relentless workers,” Sippel said today.

He has worked with them for 20 years, with both basketball and as the cross country coach. Even though Wilson is outside Orleans County, Mike Wertman does game summaries on the team for the Orleans Hub and previously for The Journal-Register in Medina.

Sippel said the daily papers that are closer by have stopped with the box scores on each game.

“We’re not even an Orleans County school district and he reaches out and wants to know how a game went,” Sippel said. “He does a tremendous job.”

Wilson is on the western end of the Niagara-Orleans League. It’s not in Orleans County, but it’s part of a league that plays schools in Orleans County. The Wertmans also cover Barker, Roy-Hart, Newfane and Akron, which aren’t in Orleans County but are in the N-O League. They also cover the Genesee Region League which includes Holley, Kendall and Lyndonville, as well as many rural districts in the region, mostly from Genesee County.

Mike Wertman has been covering the local sports scene for 42 years. He worked at former Journal-Register for 35 years before joining the Orleans Hub 7 years ago. He has posted 7,900 sports articles on the Orleans Hub.

His wife Cheryl has joined him at the games for more than 35 years. She credits Don Cook, a late JR photographer, for getting her started as a sports photographer.

Sippel said Mrs. Wertman can be counted on for awesome action shots from the games, and her husband gets the details on the players’ scoring, assists and rebounds. Sipped said Wertman did the league a big service by researching and chronicling all the league champs for nearly the past century.

“I think it’s so important to recognize them during this time when the media has dwindled,” Sippel said. “Mike still gets the results every night at a time when other papers don’t do nightly write-ups. They are appreciated by the kids and the coaches. They really do an excellent job.”

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