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Thursday, May 26, 2011
Hernandez & winning Hall photo

By Mike Reiss

For the 43rd consecutive year, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has held a contest for best photographs. This year's winner has a Patriots tie-in, as it was snapped by Mary Schwalm of The Eagle-Tribune in Lawrence, Mass.

The top photos are now being featured on NFL.com and Schwalm recaps what unfolded as she snapped tight end Aaron Hernandez scoring a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers on Dec. 19.

Her "Thrill & Agony" photo was awarded the top prize -- the Dave Boss Award of Excellence action photo of the year.

"When I saw [Aaron] Hernandez line up in what might be a pass formation, I picked up my 70-200mm lens and hoped the play came my way," Schwalm said. "Thankfully, it did, and I was alone with the angle for Hernandez's high-stepping reaction, the dejected Packers player, and the Patriots' sideline and crowd. I knew I had a good photo, but with seven minutes remaining in the game, it was crucial that the Patriots' defense held off the Packers' offense to secure the win and preserve the picture's game relevance"

In April, the Eagle-Tribune wrote more about Schwalm's honor in a piece by sports editor Bill Burt.