By Mike Sherman, APSE First Vice President/Contest Chair
Opelika-Auburn News sportswriter Tom Green’s profile of a high school quarterback forced to quit football after his third concussion took first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2013 contest for Feature writing in the under 30,000 circulation category.
Green will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2014 APSE Banquet June 28 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va. Matthew Peaslee finished second for his story in Tribune Chronicle of Warren, Ohio on a 7-year-old struck in head by a foul ball at a minor league baseball game. Opelika-Auburn News writers placed three stories in the top 10, including Ryan Wood’s third-place story on the price a former Auburn football star paid for his hall of fame career.
The top 10 is listed below with links to each writers’ Twitter pages and entries.
Sports editors in the 30,000 to 75,000 circulation category submitted 113 Feature entries. Contest catchers 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 early March, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in Indianapolis 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 1 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 Feature category is judged on human interest, reader interest, quality of writing and thoroughness of reporting. Each member news organization was permitted up to three entries in this category.
The contest is open to APSE members. Go to this link to join.
2013 APSE Contest: Feature story, under 30,000 circulation
(First-place votes in parentheses)
1. Tom Green, Opelika-Auburn News (Opelika, Ala.), (1), 49 points
2 (tie). Matthew Peaslee, Tribune Chronicle (Warren, Ohio), (1) 45 points
2 (tie). Ryan Wood, Opelika-Auburn News (Opelika, Ala.), 45 points
4. Clay Whittington, Killeen (Texas) Daily Herald, (2), 43 points
5. Jim Seimas, Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.), (1), 33 points
6. Nathan Baird, Journal & Courier (Lafayette, Ind.), 31 points
7. David Morrison, Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune, 28 points
8. Tommy Deas, The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News, 23 points
9. Jason Galloway, Opelika-Auburn News (Opelika, Ala.), 17 points
10. Whitelaw Reid, The Daily Progress (Charlottesville, Va.), 16 points
(Mike Sherman, APSE first vice president and contest chair, is sports editor of The Oklahoman. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him at @MikeSherman or call 405-475-3164.)