Joey was an English: Creative Writing major at UMW and graduated cum laude in 2013.
The press release for LoMonaco’s award reads:
In nominating LoMonaco for Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year, his editor said “Joey has a knack for finding and telling stories that appeal to all readers, regardless of their interest in the sport itself … Joey’s storytelling skill shines.”
LoMonaco has been a sports reporter at The Free Lance-Star since 2016, and has worked at several other news outlets since graduating from the University of Mary Washington with a bachelor’s degree in English in 2013.
Articles in LoMonaco’s portfolio covered brothers who were born in a refugee camp and who became soccer standouts at their high school, a swimmer who refused to let being born with essentially one leg stop him from excelling in the pool, and twins who twice overcame childhood leukemia and rose to become championship-level golfers.
“Joey LoMonaco approaches his sports beat with a discerning eye. And once he identifies a compelling story, he tells it via sparkling prose. He sprinkles his pieces with vivid details—the ‘crumbly clay’ of an old baseball infield, the ‘tonal tapestry’ of Burundi music—and lets the voices of his subjects move the narrative along with well-chosen quotes,” judges wrote.
Of the portfolio, judges noted that “LoMonaco’s writing style lifts each story beyond a mere sports feature to a life lesson on perseverance – or a peek into the challenges of gender equality or urban crime. He recognizes sports journalism’s highest potential by finding the intersection of athletics and society.”
For more information, see Virginia Press Association Names 2019 Outstanding Journalists.