2008 – SPORTS JOURNALISM
Cecil/Canon-McMillan High School
Byron Smialek began his journalism career in July of 1961, when he became the sports editor of the Canonsburg Daily Notes. In 1963, he relocated to Colorado, where he wrote news and sports for the Coloradoan Newspaper and covered the sports teams at Colorado State University.
Byron returned to Pennsylvania in 1965, taking a job as an assignment reporter for the Greensburg Tribune-Review. In 1969, at age twenty-six, he became the sports editor at the Washington Observer-Reporter covering local high schools, the Washington Generals, and the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl victories.
During his time as sports editor, the Observer-Reporter’s sports section received national and statewide recognition for excellence in reporting, writing, design, and layout. Smialek was responsible for starting the Sports Headliner Award, the Pavella Cup Tournament, and the annual football preview.
In 1982, Byron left the sports desk and began writing a general interest column. As a member of the Observer-Reporter staff, he became the news editor and columnist/senior writer. He has written over 3,200 general interest columns.
Byron Smialek continues to remain involved with local sports. He has been the stadium announcer at Washington and Jefferson football games for the last ten years and the game announcer for the W and J men’s and women’s basketball teams for the past eight years.