He was the personification of reporting sports in the Midcoast for more than a decade before his native Aroostook County town called him home.

Whether in the Midcoast or “The County,” Joseph Cyr always has exuded professionalism at any event he covered in his more than 25 years in the business.

And now, Cyr’s tireless, consistent efforts have been recognized on a statewide scale as he recently was selected as the National Sports Media Association Sportswriter of the Year award.

"I was beyond surprised when I first learned that I was nominated for this prestigious award,” said Cyr. “There are so many exceptional sports reporters throughout the state who are easily just as worthy of recognition as myself. It was truly humbling to learn that I was this year's honoree.”

The 46-year-old Cyr, a 1989 graduate of Houlton High School, attended the University of Maine at Presque Isle, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1993 before eventually moving south to take a reporter job at The Courier-Gazette in 1997.

Cyr said he looks back on his time in the Midcoast “as one of the most incredible times in my life” and that he met “so many wonderful and passionate coaches” along the way.

“How could you not get excited watching Rusty Worcester coaching softball at Georges Valley [now Oceanside]; Jeff Hart leading the Windjammer basketball squad on incredible postseason drives; or Sam Pendleton and Darryl Townsend imparting their impressive soccer knowledge onto young boys and girls players at GVHS,” Cyr said. “It's hard to single out only a handful of coaches, but those are the ones who made an impact on me both professionally, and personally, that made me a better sports reporter.”

“This is an outstanding accomplishment for Joe,” said Worcester. “It’s well-deserved, he is an outstanding writer and an even better man.”

While he wore many hats in his time as a reporter in Rockland, he was best known for his sports coverage. And “getting paid to watch, photograph and write about a sporting event is just about as good as it gets," Cyr said.

“I also had the honor to work with some pretty incredible folks at The Courier-Gazette back in the day,” he said. “It was Ken Waltz' passion for sports that really rubbed off on me, and made me want to become a sports writer and photographer. I learned a great deal from him, copy editor Tom Von Malder and news editor Stephen Betts, during our time working together and have always tried to pass that knowledge, and drive, on to others along the way.”

While Cyr greatly valued his time in the Midcoast, when a position opened at the Houlton Pioneer Times in August of 2009 — the newspaper he grew up reading — the opportunity was too good to pass up.

And many of the professional relationships Cyr formed along the way, often blossomed into friendships that still last today nearly a decade after leaving the Midcoast.

Covering a regional championship game in Bangor in 2013, Cyr learned in advance of the Oceanside softball team advancing to its regional championship round, and brought with him a gift for coach Worcester prior to the Mariners’ showdown with Gardiner.

“[He brought me] a lucky bag of potatoes from up north,” said Worcester. “Of course I put the bag right in the dugout by my bag. We won the game against Gardiner and went on to win the state title against Greely at St. Joseph College. That lucky bag of potatoes was, in fact, very lucky. Then after the game the bag of potato's went home with me.”

While Cyr was happy to win the national sportswriter award, for him, it was just another day at the office.

“It has always been important for me to go above and beyond when it comes to working in the newspaper industry, especially when it comes to sports,” he said. “I always felt every game, whether it be a Little League playoff game or a high school state championship, deserved the same approach in terms of coverage regardless of if I was 'on the clock' or on my own time. Plus, Aroostook County folks are known for their work ethic, so I had to live up to that expectation as well.”

"Joe Cyr is a consummate professional who takes his job, his craft as a reporter and photographer, as serious as possible, and it shows in his award-winning work," said Waltz, Courier Publications/VillageSoup sports director and one of Cyr's former colleagues. "That is why he is one of the best. When Joe does something, he does it right. He is a stickler for accuracy and details, which I appreciate, and the calling cards of all truly great journalists. And no matter how many awards in this business he has received for his consistently wonderful, and, more often than not, amazing work, he never rests on his laurels. He pushes himself every day to be the best he can be so that he can serve the most important people — namely, the readers in his community. He has a fair, comprehensive approach to every story and is among a handful of the most talented photojournalists in the state. I have the utmost respect for Joe and how he has worked tirelessly to become, and remain, one of the finest reporters/photographers in Maine."

Cyr resides in Houlton with his wife, Charity, and daughters, Olivia and Isabel.