Luke DeCock of the The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2019 contest for breaking news story in the B Division.

DeCock will be presented with his first-place plaque at the 2020 APSE Summer Conference Banquet on June 27 at The Alexander hotel in Indianapolis.

Contest chair Lisa Wilson and fellow APSE officers Todd M. Adams, Gary Potosky and Dan Spears prepared the entries. Sports editors in the B Division entered 60 stories in the category. Click here to join and enter the contest for 2020.

In February, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in St. Petersburg, 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 winner in each category will receive a plaque at the summer conference. The second- through 10th-place writers will receive frameable certificates.

Breaking news stories relate sports news development (trades, hirings, firings, franchise shifts, etc.) that occurred in the most recent news cycle. Judges weigh timeliness, thoroughness, exclusivity and significance, which were explained in an accompanying cover letter. 

A list of the Top 10:

  1. Luke DeCock, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 50 points, 3 first-place votes
  2. (tie) Kevin Duffy, Boston Herald, 39 points
    (tie) Chris Tomasson, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 39 points
    4. (tie) Kyle Neddenriep, IndyStar (Indianapolis), 35 points
    4. (tie) Jason Orts, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 35 points
    6. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, IndyStar, 34 points
    7. David Cobb, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.), 31 points
    8. (tie) Adam Fisher, Naples Daily News, 25 points
    8. (tie) Scott Wright, The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 25 points
    10. John O’Connor, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 17 points

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