By John Bednarowski
APSE First Vice President

Jeremiah Johnke of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2017 contest in the Feature Story category for the Under 30,000 circulation division.
Johnke won for his story on Cheyenne’s Cannon Meyer being selected to appear on “American Ninja Warrior.” The winner in each category will receive a plaque at the 2018 APSE Summer Conference in Nashville. The banquet and awards dinner will conclude the APSE Summer Conference, which takes place June 17-20 at at the Marriott Hotel Nashville / Vanderbilt University.
Andrew Ramspacher of the Daily Progress finished second. Bret McCormick of The Herald (Rock Hill S.C) was third.
Sports editors in the Under 30,000 category submitted 106 Feature Story entries. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.
Contest chair John Bednarowski and fellow APSE officers Jeff Rosen, Todd Adams 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 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, 9 points for second and so on 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 top 10 is listed below, with links to writers’ Twitter pages, APSE member websites and winning entries.

  1. Jeremiah Johnke, Wyoming Tribune Eagle, 48 points (one first-place vote)

Cheyenne’s Cannon Meyer to appear on “American Ninja Warrior”

  1. Andrew Ramspacher, Daily Progress, 46 points (one-first place vote)

Badly hurt as a child, DeKalb’s Zuerek Day battles back to play football, track in college

  1. Bret McCormick, The Herald (Rock Hill, SC), 43 points (one first-place vote)

Managers are the unseen underpinning of Winthrop basketball

  1. Nathan Baird, Journal & Courier, 42 points (one first-place vote)

Faith and family behind Lindblom’s return

T-5. Ben Jones, The Tuscaloosa News, 41 points (one first-place vote)

Alabama’s athletic trainers are led by the best

T-5. Ron Counts, Daily Progress, 41 points

Ties that bind: Louisa County coach Mark Fischer found his calling on the football field

  1. Mitch Rupert, WIlliamsport Sun-Gazette, 28 points (one first-place vote)

Montoursville’s Dinges overcomes brush with death, off to PIAAs in javelin

  1. Tim Fitzgerald, GoPowercat.com, 24 points

BILL SNYDER: The Determined One

  1. Erik Bacharach, Daily News Journal, 22 points

With ‘not much time’ left, 12-year-old boy continues to inspire MTSU baseball team

  1. Luke Thompson, Yakima Herald-Republic, 15 points
    Defeating Denali: Strength, patience helped 58-year-old Campbell summit famous peak

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