By Tommy Deas

APSE President

Nicholas Talbot of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2016 contest in Columns category for the Under 30,000 circulation category.

Talbot won for his portfolio of five columns. 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

Matt L. Stephens of the Fort Collins Coloradoan placed second. Brice Cherry of the Waco Tribune finished third.

Sports editors in the Under 30,000 category submitted 51 entries in the column writing category. 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 Columns category is judged based on style, writing quality, originality and local appeal.

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

  1. Nicholas Talbot, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 44 points (2 first-place votes)

Kingsbury’s contract could be saving his job

Red Raiders, Kingsbury could benefit from showing a little more heart

Is college football finding a moral compass?

Grobe, Baylor can’t keep ignoring sexual assaults

Bowlsby’s phone is busy with expansion opinions

  1. Matt L. Stephens, Fort Collins Coloradoan, 42 points (2 first-place votes)

JUCO coach there in Emmanuel Omogbo’s time of need

Wyoming’s Josh Adams the Border War villain who isn’t

CSU not getting its money’s worth from Mike Bobo

We’re all the punchline to CSU’s Hayden Hunt

Obituary: Hughes Stadium, 1968-2016

  1. Brice Cherry, Waco Tribune, 40 points

Baylor’s assistant coaches owe team, fans some answers

For Seth Russell, a painful — yet classy — end

Let’s play the name game for Waco’s new pro baseball team

Former Lady Bears star Whitaker now proudly protects her native Dallas

Briles’ win-at-all-costs approach fails Baylor

  1. Cecil Hurt, The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News, 37 points (1 first-place vote)

Lesson from Baylor – Don’t let it happen here

Remember Turner, Lyda for how they lived

This game had it all, including a sweet win for Alabama

LSU still where they were five years ago – looking up at Alabama

Deontay Wilder can’t afford to rush next fight

  1. John Bohnenkamp, The Hawk Eye, 35 points

Nobody has it better than Harbaugh

Hawkeyes need to get control – and soon

Another head-shaker, with no answers

The party didn’t belong to the Hawkeyes

Trine ready for next challenge

  1. Aaron Reiss, Columbia Missourian, 34 points

Understanding the Missouri football boycott’s legacy and the issues that remain

There’s a lot in Aarion Penton’s name

Missouri wrestling’s J’den Cox displays unifying power through Olympics

Even Eastern Michigan football fans find irrational optimism

Goodbye the the best teacher I, and so many others, have had

  1. John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal, 33 points (1 first-place vote)

GHSA avoiding questions about basketball tournament discrepancies

Golf’s ‘King’ shows signs of mortality

Berenato heeds the call to come to KSU

(Only links available)

  1. Scott Petrak, The Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria, Ohio), 30 points

Browns’ Jackson handling losses like a champ

Corey Kluber has a frosty, frustrating day

Latest failed drug test shows it’s time for Browns to cut ties with Josh Gordon

Changing the culture is fine, but it will take more than that to turn the Browns around

Hue Jackson wants trust; fans deserve an answer at QB

  1. Chris Stevens, Midland (Mich.) Daily News, 18 points

‘The Bird’ was the word 40 years ago

Three older gentlemen with inspiring attitudes

These days, Tiger is just another aging legend

In this scary era, get to know your child’s coach

It’s time for Kaepernick to stand up or shut up

  1. Brad Elliott Schlossman, Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald, 17 points

UND’s Athletics committee is problematic

Just read between the lines

UND’s pointless charade is demeaning

Enjoy the present with this UND team

In NHL, draft doesn’t dictate future earnings

 

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