By Tommy Deas, APSE Third Vice President

Matthew Stanmyre, who covers high school athletics for The Star-Ledger/, took first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2014 contest for Beat Writing in the over 175,000 circulation category.

Stanmyre, whose five­ story entries highlighted his work on the prep beat, will be presented a first-­place plaque at the 2015 APSE banquet. The banquet and awards dinner on June 27 concludes the APSE Conference at The Westgate Hotel in San Diego, Calif.

Stanmyre received three of six first-­place votes from APSE judges, who ranked him ahead of runner-­up Sam Borden of The New York Times and third-­place finisher Jason King of Bleacher Report.

The top 10 is listed below with links to each writer’s Twitter page and available entries.

Sports editors in the over 175,000 circulation category submitted a total of 67 Beat Writing entries from APSE member sports departments in 2014. Each entry was stripped of headlines, bylines and any other element that would identify the writer or news organization.

The contest is open to APSE members. Go to this link to join.

In early February, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 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 Beat Writing category recognizes the most authoritative, newsy and innovative coverage of a beat during 2014. Each APSE member news organization was permitted to submit up to two entries of five stories each. Each entry consisted of at least one breaking news story, one event or game coverage, one enterprise piece and two wild­card stories that could include a blog post.

Here are the top 10, listed in order of finish:

1. Matthew Stanmyre, The Star Ledger, 56 points, 3 first-place votes

Transferring ‘epidemic’ sweeping across New Jersey high school basketball landscape

A Thanksgiving reunion 20 years in the making

Sayreville football parent reveals sexual nature of alleged locker room hazing ritual

7 Sayreville football players charged in hazing, sexual assault of teammates

Two days after the death of head football coach Gary Mioli, Park Ridge earns emotional win in his honor

2. Sam Borden, The New York Times, 50 points, 2 first-place votes

How Jurgen Klinsmann Plans to Make U.S. Soccer Better (and Less American)

Tuning Out Colleague’s Protests, Judge Clears FIFA World Cup Bidding

Where Dishonesty Is Best Policy, U.S. Soccer Falls Short

Another Victim of Global Financial Crisis: Pro Soccer Players

Goal, Goal, Goal, Goal, Goal, Goal, Goal, and Brazil’s Day Goes Dark

3. Jason King, Bleacher Report, 41 points

Southern Miss Basketball Under NCAA Investigation, Source Says

Welcome to the Club: Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan Advances to His 1st Final Four

Sign of the Times: Does College Basketball Have an Autograph Problem?

The Adreian Payne Story: How Michigan State Star Became the Ultimate Role Model

Life After Louisville: Chane Behanan Making the Most of His Second Chance

4. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, 40 points, 1 first-place vote

NFL players, coaches are sounding off about TV microphones on linemen

Manning’s night goes bad in a snap

Seahawks’ Richard Sherman has a side the public doesn’t see

Paul Allen had a big hand in saving the Seahawks but is hands-off now

A return of L.A. Rams? Owner is said to buy possible stadium site 

5. Mark Zeigler, U-T San Diego, 31 points

Shaun White: A lonely life at the top

Did Dominica couple game the Games?

Rio’s 2016 Olympics: Is 2 years enough?

Russian hockey and the ghost of 1980

San Diego not likely to make Olympic cut

  1. Scott M. Reid, Orange County Register, 25 points

Sotnikova’s figure skating gold scrutinized

World Cup costs runneth over in Brazil

Skeleton-racing champ Uhlaender driven by father’s love

World Cup: Netherlands scores two late goals to stun Mexico, 2-1

Reid: Volleyball’s leaders need to send Iran a message

  1. Childs Walker, The Baltimore Sun, 24 points

Triple Crown would be historic, but that doesn’t mean it would change the sport

Maryland racing industry embraces new optimism as Preakness approaches

California Chrome wins Preakness to keep Triple Crown hope alive

California Chrome equipment ‘might be an issue’ for Belmont Stakes

Favorite California Chrome wins Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs

  1. Andy McCullough, The Kansas City Star, 23 points

Royals head to World Series after sweeping Orioles in ALCS

A late bloomer, Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain making up for lost time

Royals, in part because of financial constraints, stand pat at trade deadline as David Price joins Tigers

Royals’ James Shields passed kidney stone during ALCS but is ready for World Series

As focus faded and losses picked up in late July, Royals changed their game

9. (tie) Karen Crouse, The New York Times, 20 points

In St. Andrews, a Heavy Knock on a Neighbor’s Door

Golf Digest’s Cover Spurs Criticism From L.P.G.A. Pros

With a Resolve Years in the Making, Wie Wins the U.S. Women’s Open for Her First Major Title

Tom Watson Not Showing the Same Steadiness He Did as a Player

A Golf Hazard on the Way to a Tournament

9. (tie) Alex Pavlovic, San Jose Mercury News, 20 points

Barry Bonds will be spring training Giants instructor

Giants win pennant on Ishikawa’s home run

World Series: Buster Posey and the art of catching

All-Star Game 2014: Giants’ Hunter Pence plays with a style that’s all his own

The Month That Was: Walk-off Wins, The BumSlam, A New (Old) Ace, Beast Mode Blasts, Sandwich Stabbings and Much More

 (Tommy Deas, APSE second vice president, is sports editor of The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Email him at, follow him at @tommydeas or call 205-722-0224.)