Adam Hunsucker of the Monroe News-Star won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2020 contest in Category D Columns.

Hunsucker will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2021 APSE Summer Conference Banquet at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas on Aug. 18.

Kerry Benefield of the Press Democrat finished second and Cara Cooper of the Martinsville Bulletin was third.

A Columns entry is judged based on style, writing quality, originality and local appeal.

Sports editors in Category D submitted 27 entries. The contest is open to APSE members. 

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Contest chair and First Vice President Gary Potosky and fellow APSE officers President Lisa Wilson, Second Vice President Jorge Rojas and Third Vice President Steve Hemphill prepared the entries.

Because this year’s in-person APSE Winter Conference was canceled due to the pandemic, all judging was remote during three weeks in February. Each category had a set of judges examine all entries, choose a Top 10 as a group (in some cases, the ranking includes fewer or more than 10 entries), and each of those judges ranked the finalists individually. A second set of judges in each category then also ranked those finalists.

The winner and final rankings are determined by tallying the ballots.

The winner in each category will receive a plaque at the summer conference. The second- through 10th-place finishers will receive frameable certificates.

The top 10 is listed below with links to the winning entries, and voting results.

1. Adam Hunsucker, The News-Star 1, 2, 3, 4, 50 points, 3 first-place votes

2. Kerry Benefield, The Press Democrat 1, 2, 3, 4, 44 points, 2 first-place votes

3. Cara Cooper, Martinsville Bulletin 1, 2, 3, 4, 38 points

4. Cecil Hurt, The Tuscaloosa News 1, 2, 3, 4, 37 points

5. Jake Adams, The Sentinel 1, 2, 3, 4, 32 points

6. Nathan Max, MaxNewsToday 1, 2, 3, 4, 31 points, 1 first-place vote

7. Don Williams, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal 1, 2, 3, 4, 28 points

8. Peter Jackel, The Journal Times 1, 2, 3, 4, 25 points

9. Ryne Dennis, Athens Banner-Herald 1, 2, 3, 4, 24 points

10. John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal 1, 2, 3, 4, 21 points