Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2015 contest for Beat Writing in the 30,000-75,000 circulation category.

Wood won for his coverage of the Green Bay Packers.

Wood will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2016 APSE banquet. The banquet and awards dinner concludes the APSE Conference June 22-25 at the Omni-Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C.

Balloting by six APSE judges ranked Wood ahead of runner-up Tom Schad of The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) and third-place finisher Courtney Cronin of The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Miss.).
The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Sports editors in the 30,000-75,000 circulation category submitted a total of 63 beat writing entries written or directed by APSE member sports departments in 2015. Contest chair and APSE first vice president Tommy Deas 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 late February-early March at Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., preliminary judges selected a top 10 ranked, with each judge listing the stories in order from 1 to 10 separately on a secret ballot. The final 10 were given to a second judging group, which also ranked the entries 1-10 in the same fashion. The winner and final rankings are determined by tallying the ballots, giving an entry 10 points for a first-place vote, nine points for second and so on down to 1 point for a 10th-place vote.

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


1. Ryan Wood, Green Bay Press-Gazette 50 points, 1 first-place vote

Cancer survivor Mike Pennel shows resiliency

Quarless faces misdemeanor charge in gun incident

Bostick admits play for onside kick ‘not my job’

Data shows just how good Packers GM Ted Thompson is in

Split seconds: Inside B.J. Raji’s yoga session


2. Tom Schad, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) 47 points, 3 first-place votes

After 18 years, Tigers hungry for kickoff return touchdown

Tigers knock off Rebels for 13th straight win

Tigers Morning After: More on the upset of Ole Miss

Mailbag: Is U of M mentally prepared for Tulsa? Are recruits worried Fuente will leave?

Arizona State’s Mike Norvell tapped to coach U of M football


3. Courtney Cronin, The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Miss.) 45 points, 1 first-place vote

Five-star prospect Malik Newman chooses Mississippi State

Noxubee County wins 3rd title in 4 years

Linton overcomes trials to become coveted recruit

Jackson Prep leading way in player safety initiatives

2015 prep football preview: XXL on the DL


4. Tim Wilkin, Times Union (Albany, N.Y.) 42 points

American Pharoah rules at Belmont, winning Triple Crown

Tales from the Saratoga Race Course backstretch

Can American Pharoah break the Triple Crown drought

Pharoah punches ticket for Spa

Saratoga Race Course: 40 reasons we love the Spa


5. Bret Strelow, The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer 37 points

In light of Deflategate, lack of a universal ball in college hoops has bearing in ACC

Duke freshman Justise Winslow applying lessons learned

From Butler to Alabama, now at N.C. State, Trevor Lacey has solidified reputation

Bret Strelow column: Coach K busier than ever

ACC Basketball: N.C. State’s Mark Gottfried uses helicopter


6. Steve Craig, Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram 32 points, 1 first-place vote

A management program makes cutting weight safer, though not necessarily easier.

Not looking for a fight, ‘I just really want to play,’ says Maine student-athlete

Sports activity fees on the rise at Maine schools, creating tensions in some towns

MPA panel denies Wells High tennis player’s petition

Boys’ soccer: Yarmouth repeats as Class B champion


7. Eric Hansen, South Bend (Ind.) Tribune 29 points

Analysis: Deciphering life after Golson at Notre Dame

Backup QB DeShone Kizer helps Notre Dame sidestep upset

Time for Notre Dame defensive execution to match its talent

A dream comes full circle for Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly

Notre Dame’s KeiVarae Russell and the road to redemption


8. Scott Walsh, The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.) 18 points

Wilson in critical condition following Pocono accident; Hunter-Reay wins race

IndyCar reeling following Wilson’s death

Jeff Gordon makes his last run at Pocono

Pocono Raceway adds Xfinity Series for 2016


T9. Alicia Wincze Hughes, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader 15 points
Chief steward, peers defend Espinoza’s use of whip in Derby

After 37 years of Triple Crown failure, American Pharoah

American Pharoah wins Triple Crown, breaking 37-year

Track sees fourth fatal breakdown of fall meet
Trainer Casse soaking in the year of a lifetime


T9. Zac Boyer, The Washington Times 15 points

T.J. Oshie, known for Olympics success, looks to make his mark on Capitals

Showstoppers: Troy Brouwer nets goal in final seconds to give Capitals win in Winter Classic

Alex Ovechkin acknowledges he overslept prior to Capitals’ morning skate

Sergei Fedorov, now in Hall of Fame, influential to future Capitals stars

Junior partners Connor Hobbs, Colby Williams tested together at Capitals camp