APSE Contest: Matt L. Stephens wins Under-30 Breaking News

By Mary Byrne, APSE Second Vice President

Matt L. Stephens of the Fort Collins Coloradoan took first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2014 contest for Breaking News in the under 30,000 circulation category.

Stephens 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 Stephens ahead of runner-up Aaron Suttles of The Tuscaloosa News and third-place finishers James Crepea, Brian Lyman and Albert Cesare of the Montgomery Advertiser. The top 10 is listed below with links to writers’ Twitter pages and entries.

Sports editors in the under 30,000 circulation category submitted 67 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 Lake Buena Vista, 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 breaking news category recognizes the best story off a sports news development (trades, hirings, firings, franchise shifts, etc.) that occurred in the most recent news cycle. Online or print stories are eligible. Judges weighed the various elements of a breaking news story, including timeliness, thoroughness, exclusivity and significance. Cover letters explaining these elements are permitted in this category.

The contest is open to all APSE members. Go to this link to join.

2014 APSE Contest: Breaking News, under 30,000 circulation

(First-place votes in parentheses)

1. Matt L. Stephens, Fort Collins Coloradoan, 56 points (2)

Florida AD courts Jim McElwain to be next Gators coach

2. Aaron Suttles, The Tuscaloosa News, 44 points (3)

Lane Kiffin first to interview for Alabama’s vacant offensive coordinator position

3. James Crepea, Brian Lyman and Albert Cesare, Montgomery Advertiser, 38 points

‘Too young, too soon:’ Family, friends search for answers


Suspect in killing of Jakell Mitchell has criminal past

Arrest made in fatal shooting of Auburn’s Jakell Mitchell

Auburn players react to shooting of Jakell Mitchell

Tiger Lodge issues letter to residents, statement regarding fatal shooting

4. Kelly Lyell, Fort Collins Coloradoan, 36 points

Fired CSU AD received poor performance review

5. Tommy Deas, The Tuscaloosa News, 35 points (1)

Sarah Patterson passes the torch

6. Jeremy Price, The Herald Times (Bloomington, Ind.), 28 points

IU names Teri Moren new head women’s basketball coach

T7. Ryan Holmgren, The Minot (N.D.) Daily News, 27 points

Hoffner returns to MSU-Mankato

T7. Diana C. Nearhos and Maury Thompson, The Post-Star, 27 points

Calgary Flames official tours Civic Center

9. Mitchell Ferman, Columbia Missourian, 23 points

Hickman’s Jimmy Whitt commits to Hickman: from decision to announcement

10. Jim Seimas, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 16 points

USCS offers additional support for its NCAA teams

(Mary Byrne is managing editor of USA TODAY Sports. Contact her at mbyrne@usatoday.com)


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