By Mary Byrne, APSE Second Vice President
Aaron Suttles of The Tuscaloosa News took first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2014 contest for Beat Writing in the under 30,000 circulation category.
Suttles will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2015 APSE banquet on June 27 at The Westgate Hotel in San Diego, Calif.
Balloting by six APSE judges ranked Suttles ahead of runner-up Mike Vorel of the Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune and third-place finisher Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror. The top 10 is listed below with links to writers’ Twitter pages and entries.
Sports editors in the under 30,000 circulation category submitted 54 beat writing entries written or directed by APSE member sports departments in 2014. All entries were stripped of their headlines, bylines and any other elements that would identify the writer or news organization.
In early February, preliminary judges at the APSE winter conference in Orlando, Fla., selected a top 10, with each judge ranking the entries in order from 1 to 10 separately on a secret ballot. Entries were given 10 points for a first-place vote, nine points for second and so on. The final 10 were given to a second judging group, which ranked the entries 1-10 in the same fashion. The winner and final rankings are determined by tallying the ballots.
The Beat Writing category recognizes the most authoritative, newsy and innovative coverage of a beat during 2014. Each APSE member news organization was permitted to submit up to two entries of five stories each. Each entry consisted of at least one breaking news story, one event or game coverage, one enterprise piece and two wild-card stories that could include a blog post.
The contest is open to all APSE members. Go to this link to join.
2014 APSE Contest: Beat Writing, under 30,000 circulation
(First-place votes in parentheses)
1. Aaron Suttles, The Tuscaloosa News, 49 points (1)
2. Mike Vorel, Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, 46 points (2)
3. Cory Giger, Altoona Mirror, 41 points (1)
4. Tom Green, Opelika-Auburn News, 39 points
5. Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner Herald, 32 points (1)
6. Christine Peterson, Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, 29 points
7. Dustin Dopirak, The Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.), 28 points (1)
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8. Ryan Holmgren, The Minot (N.D.) Daily News, 26 points
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MSU hammers Crookston for first win of the season
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Hoffner, Minot State football get fresh start
9. Diana C. Nearhos, The Post-Star, 24 points
10. John Bohnenkamp, The Hawk Eye, 16 points
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McCaffery: It’s Aaron White’s team
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(Mary Byrne is managing editor for USA TODAY Sports, APSE second vice president and contest chair. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org).