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The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association named Tyler Merriam the 2012 South Dakota Sportscaster of the Year this week for his work broadcasting South Dakota State football men's basketball and baseball, and for hosting "The Jackrabbit Insider" over the last year

"It's a real honor. I'm blessed to work at such a wonderful place with so many talented people that you can't help but be excited to come to work each day," Merriam said. "And to have my name alongside those of Steve Imming and Norm Hilson and Tom Maxwell, it's very humbling."

A Pierre native, Merriam called his first Jackrabbit baseball game in 2006 as an SDSU student, and also did play-by-play for Jackrabbit softball and volleyball before becoming the full-time voice of Jackrabbit women's basketball in 2008.

He joined longtime voice of Jackrabbit football and men's basketball Steve Imming as a color commentator in the football booth for two years before taking over the play-by-play duties for both football and men's basketball in 2011.

Merriam joins former "voices of the Jackrabbits" Norm Hilson, who won the award four times (1972, 73, 80 and 81) and Imming, who earned the honor in 1998, to win South Dakota Sportscaster of the Year honors.

The NSSA presents a national award and a state award for both categories each year. Mike Henriksen of "SportsMax" won the South Dakota Sportscaster of the Year and Terry Vandrovec of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader won the Sportswriter of the Year in 2011.

Merriam's cousin Roger Merriam of the Watertown Public Opinion won the South Dakota Sportswriter of the Year. Both Tyler and Roger receive their awards at the 54th Annual NSSA Awards Banquet on June 10, 2013 in Salisbury, N.C.

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