By Jeff Rosen

APSE President

Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News and Geoff Calkins of the Memphis Commercial Appeal tied for first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2017 contest in column writing in the 30,000-75,000 circulation category.

Finger and Calkins will each be presented a first-place plaque at the 2018 APSE banquet. The banquet and awards dinner concludes the APSE Summer Conference June 17-20 at the Marriott Hotel Nashville/Vanderbilt University. The second- through 10th-place winners will receive frameable certificates.

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. Preliminary judges selected a top 10, and from there another group of judges ranked the finalists in order from 1 to 10 separately on a secret ballot. Entries were given 10 points for a first-place vote, nine for second, etc. The winner and final rankings are determined by tallying the ballots.

APSE column writing entries were judged based on style, writing quality, originality and local appeal.

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

T-1 . Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, 50 points, 4 first-place votes

UT ex Julius Whittier battles Alzheimer’s as his sister takes on the NCAA

At a football game, a community feels loss and finds hope

For Popovich, speaking out is intended to be uncomfortable

For Spurs’ Popovich, frustration finally boils over

In Texas, college football misery loves company

T-1 Geoff Calkins, Commercial Appeal, 50 points, 2 first-place votes

MUS tennis player Edward Apple makes year’s most miraculous return

Calkins: NCAA should give Memphis its banner back

Calkins: Grizzlies Wrestling Night’s hero is real

Hugh Freeze brought down by hubris, vengeance and sex

Tony Pollard kick return for TD won these guys free engagement rings

3 . Austin Meek, Eugene (Ore.) Register-Guard, 41 points

In life’s cruelest moments, the calls just aren’t fair

No matter how you look at it, Ducks come up just short

No stranger to the hate

Helpful tips to coaches in media

Taggart struggles with truth

4 . John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review, 36 points

Blanchette: Przemek Karnowski and his beard have endeared themselves to Zags fans

John Blanchette: Gonzaga has earned those tears, turning them from agony to joy

John Blanchette: Mariners offer perfect ideas for saving time in baseball

John Blanchette: Washington again proves it wants Apple Cup more than Cougars

John Blanchette: Jud Heathcote cared enough to ‘coach up’ everyone he knew

5 . Hugh Kellenberger, Clarion-Ledger, 31 points

Who MSU, Vic Schaefer are is because of where he has been

Kellenberger: Bulldogs showed up ready to win

Kellenberger: Hugh Freeze’s downfall is also Ole Miss’, and everyone shares in the fallout

Kellenberger: Surveying the damage created by Sanderson Farms Championship’s toughest hole

Meet Neil Price, the Mississippi State radio voice about to call his first Egg Bowl

6 . David Ramsey, The Gazette (Colo. Springs), 28 points

Trump wrong on Brandon Marshall, others who protest during anthem

Air Force’s Frank Serratore, back in NCAAs, deserves applause for superb hockey labor

Despite Donald Trump’s travel ban, I hope American wrestlers make trip to Iran

Carson Bird’s widow tries to understand what can’t be understood

Sierra’s Dante Thomas stuns everyone – including himself – to win 3A 100 sprint

T-7 . Guerin Emig, Tulsa World, 25 points

Far more important for Baker Mayfield to own up to this mistake than his last one

TPS athletics headed for bottom of pit being dug by state legislators

Sooners historically impressive in dominance of Ohio State

OSU’s management of basketball scandal hinges on decision about Mike Boynton’s future

Before Billy Vessels won OU’s first Heisman and helped launch a dynasty, Cleveland, Okla., was there to raise him

T-7. Tom Noie, South Bend Tribune, 25 points

Noie: Notre Dame legend Ara Parseghian was a great coach, but an even better man

Noie: Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw takes rightful place among basketball’s best

Noie: Brandon Wimbush ready for life as the Notre Dame starting quarterback

Noie: Notre Dame men’s soccer coach Bobby Clark walks away with class

Clay seniors keep faith during another winless football season

9 . Aaron McFarling, Roanoke Times, 23 points

McFarling Journal 5/10/17: Why you throw the pitch

McFarling: UVa’s photo statement appropriate response to a terrible event

McFarling: Night time the right time for Martinsville racing

McFarling: Fuente’s odd decisions stem from self-imposed limitations

McFarling: After 25 Stagg Bowls, Salem reluctantly prepares to say goodbye

10 . Mark Story, Lexington Herald-Leader, 21 points

When they need to chill, some of Louisville’s hottest athletes come to Lexington

On verge of being UK folk hero, Isaac Humphries instead feels ‘gutted’

The letters from Lou Gehrig that Earle Combs’ Kentucky grandson cherishes

Tolerance for scandal finally caught up to Louisville’s Tom Jurich

The ‘gift’ that saved the life of an ex-Kentucky Wildcats basketball player