By John Bednarowski

APSE Second Vice President

Ross Dellenger of  The Advocate  won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2016 contest in Explanatory category for the 75,000-175,000 circulation category.

Dellenger won for his story on IMG Academy and football recruiting.The winner in each category will receive a plaque at the 2017 APSE Summer Conference at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans June 26-29. (Click here to register for the conference.) The banquet and awards dinner will conclude the APSE Summer Conference, which takes place June 26-29 at The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans

Courtney Crowder of the Des Moines Register placed second. Tim Sullivan of the Louisville Courier-Journal finished third..

Sports editors in the 75,000-175,000 division submitted 47 entries in the Explanatory category. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Contest chair Jeff Rosen and fellow APSE officers Tommy Deas, John Bednarowski 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 Lake Buena Vista, 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, 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 Explanatory category is for stories on trends, issues and original ideas that shed new light on issues and personalities in the news.

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

  1. Ross Dellenger, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) 53 points (3 first-place votes)

‘One-stop shop:’ IMG Academy, rapidly becoming college football recruiting mecca, unlike any other high school in world

  1. Courtney Crowder,  Des Moines Register 46 points (1 first-place vote)

Iowa’s first transgender high school athlete found his truth on the track

  1. Tim Sullivan,  Louisville Courier-Journal 36 points

Rubber softens school fields, but are kids safe?

  1. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union Tribune 35 points (1 first-place vote)

Dashing Del Mar tackles critics, excites and excels in troubled industry

T-5. Henry Cordes, Omaha World-Herald 34 points

Shedding light on final months, hours of Lawrence Phillips’ life

T-5.  Aaron Falk and Rachel Piper, Salt Lake Tribune 34 points

A college party that ended in allegations of sexual assault exposed a community’s struggle to understand consent

  1. Jenni Carlson, The Oklahoman 32 points (1 first-place vote)

On the Road Again

  1. Dirk Chatelain, Omaha World-Herald 25 points

With scholarship limit, college baseball careers come with a cost

  1. Tom Reed, Columbus Dispatch 21 points

Women and Concussions: Female athletes suffer them a rate higher than men in like sports

  1. Betsy Helfand, Las Vegas Review-Journal 14 points

It’s not hard to find why 51s want out of Cashman Field