By Tommy Deas

APSE President

Jon Blau of the The Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.) won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2016 contest in the Projects category for the Under 30,000 circulation division.

Blau won for his project on Title IX at Indiana University. The winner in each category will receive a plaque at the 2017 APSE Summer Conference at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans June 26-29. (Click here to register for the conference.) The banquet and awards dinner will conclude the APSE Summer Conference, which takes place June 26-29 at The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans.

Jason Munz and Erin Kosnac of the Hattiesburg (Miss.) American placed second. Sarah Rafique and Nicholas Talbot of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal finished third.

Sports editors in the Under 30,000 category submitted 26 Projects entries. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Contest chair Jeff Rosen and fellow APSE officers Tommy Deas, John Bednarowski and Robert Gagliardi numbered each entry, assuring they had been stripped of headlines, graphics, bylines and any other element that would identify the writer or news organization.

In February, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and off-site around the country, 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 down to one point for a 10th­-place vote. 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 Projects category judges a  Collection of articles that sheds new light on personalities and issues in the news, including trends and original ideas.

The top 10 is listed below, with links to writers’ Twitter pages, APSE member websites and winning entries.

  1. Jon Blau, The Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.), 54 points (3 first-place votes)

Complying with Title IX could force IU to cut back in men’s sports

Women’s basketball still building an audience

Women in Sports: Relationship of women and weight remains an issue

2.Jason Munz and Erin Kosnac, Hattiesburg (Miss.) American, 43 points (2 first-place votes)

USM football turns 100 this season

ABADIE: USM deserved ‘giant killer’ reputation

Cox looks back at 39 years as ‘Voice of Golden Eagles’

Rich tradition motivates Golden Eagles

USM coaches tout tradition, relationships

Longtime Golden Eagle fans celebrate spirit of USM

USM a breeding ground for NFL talent

Gallery: Southern Miss football’s first 100 seasons

  1. Sarah Rafique and Nicholas Talbot, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 42 points

Making Waves: Former Coronado swimmer aims to be ‘deaf Michael Phelps’

Young athletes don’t let hearing impairments get in the way of their dreams

Interpreters create bond with deaf athletes

Despite hearing impairment, Adams sets sights on Division I coaching dream

Exclusive: Lubbock ISD provides individualized care for deaf students in region

  1. Staff, Athens Banner-Herald, 39 points

50 for 50: Classic City Championship in the 1970s

Ties to Cedar Shoals still run deep for high school official

The lasting legacy of Cedar Shoals’ John Waters

Former Clarke Central teams were made on coastal Georgia sand

QB battle drove Dusty Gunn to Cedar Shoals

The four horsemen paced Cedar Shoals in 1995

Clarke Central coach David Perno, Cedar Shoals coach Leroy Ryals hope to revive rivalry

Clarke Central, Cedar Shoals are ‘one community’

  1. Brett Vito, Denton (Texas) Record-Chronicle, 32 points

The race is on

Ambivalence at Apogee: UNT’s attendance falters as hopes of success go unrealized

A time of transition

  1. Matt Bufano, The Citzens’ Voice, 31 points

3 former WVC stars named to Olympic field hockey team

Rio selections show strength of WVC programs

Spooky Nook complex provides state-of-the-art home for USA Field Hockey

From WVC star to U.S. Olympian, Kolojejchick ready for challenge of Rio Games

Rio Olympics: Former Wyoming Sem star Sharkey now key piece for USA Field Hockey

Even with alternate status, Selenski among US Field Hockey team’s most recognizable faces

Meet the Families

US Olympic selections bolster legacy of field hockey in Wyoming Valley

New era carries high expectations for U.S. Field Hockey team

Olympic field hockey: Local player bios

  1. (tie) Mike DeFabo, Sean Hammond, Joe Stevenson, John Lavaccare, Jon Styf and Dan McCaleb, Northwest Herald, 25 points (1 first-place vote)

Pitch-count rule appears ready to pass in IHSA, rest of U.S. with potential NFHS rule

Take 2: Is it time for a high school baseball pitch count?

High school baseball: Q&A on pitch counts with trainer Tony Garofalo

Our view: IHSA needs to enact maximum pitch count rule

Pitch-count rules now required in each state

IHSA committee officially announces recommendation for 115-pitch count limit

High school baseball: IHSA pushes pitch count vote back to Dec. 12

IHSA approves pitch-count limits

Editor’s Desk: IHSA does right thing with pitch count

  1. (tie) Dana Sulonen, Will Sammon, Erik Bacharach, Opelika-Auburn News, 25 points

Once in a Generation, Episode 3: Year Ends, Year Begins

Once in a Generation, Episode 4: Records & Recruitment

Episode 5: Question and Answer

Episode 6: Journeys Past, Present & Future

Episode 7, Season Finale: End of a Chapter

Garrison Brooks commits to Mississippi State

Garrison Brooks confirms he has not released a short list of colleges

BACHARACH: To list or not to list? That is the question

UPDATED: Auburn High’s Garrison Brooks chooses Mississippi State

  1. Andrew Bone, Aaron Suttles and Joey Chandler, The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News, 21 points

Alabama’s Most Wanted, 10-1

Alabama’s Most Wanted 20-11

Alabama’s Most Wanted 30-21

Alabama’s Most Wanted, 40-31

Alabama’s Most Wanted, 50-41

No. 1 recruit on Alabama’s Most Wanted list: ‘I did not see this coming’

Hillcrest RB, Alabama commit ranks No. 3 on Alabama’s Most Wanted list

Alabama’s Most Wanted: State loaded with four-star recruits

American Christian Academy’s Bill Taylor ranked No. 50 in Alabama’s Most Wanted

  1. Phil Whipple,Will Kramlich, Lee Horton and Justin Pelletier, Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine), 18 points

Joey Kourafas carried momentum into winning inaugural Oxford 200

Jaime Aube on top in the 1980s

Derek Lynch won his Oxford 250 against tall odds

Three years of Rowe dominance

Kyle Busch returns to Oxford 250, earns win

Bown won the 250 for two different teams

Where are they now? A complete list of former winners

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