David Thompson won first place in the 2022 Associated Press Sports Editors contest in the Division D Long Feature category for “Before Ja Morant became a Memphis Grizzlies star, he was the pride of this small South Carolina town” in The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer.

APSE contest winners will be honored at the 2023 APSE Summer Conference banquet at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas on July 12. Click here to register for the conference, which begins on July 9 and will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of APSE.     

David Whitley of The Gainesville Sun finished second, and Tyler Dunne of Go Long took third.                         

Thompson will receive a plaque. The second- through 10th-place finishers will receive frameable certificates.                                                                                               

Sports editors in Division D submitted 61 Long Feature entries. 

Contest chair Naila-Jean Meyers and fellow APSE officers Jorge Rojas, Dan Spears and Ed Reed prepared the entries. The contest is open to APSE members.  

Contest results: Sections, digital, video | Writing and photography

In February, judges at the APSE Winter Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and remote judges around the country selected a top 10, with each judge ranking the entries in order from 1 to 10. 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 top 10 is listed below with voting results and links to the winning entries.

  1. David Thompson, The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer,  49 points (2 first-place votes)
  2. David Whitley, The Gainesville Sun , 48 points (2 first-place votes)
  3. Tyler Dunne, Go Long, 47 points (2 first-place votes)
  4. Nick Kelly, The Tuscaloosa News , 35 points
  5. Michael Lycklama, Idaho Statesman 34 points
  6. Jim Henry, Tallahassee Democrat,   29 points
  7. Cory Diaz, The Greenville (S.C.) News  28 points
  8. Jack Williams, Tallahassee Democrat 25 points
  9. Jacob Shames, Montgomery Advertiser 23 points
  10. Christina Long, Southwest Times Record (Fort Smith, Ark.) 12 points