By Jeff Rosen

APSE President

Mike Vorel of the South Bend Tribune won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2017 contest for feature writing in the 30,000-75,000 circulation category.

Vorel’s story was about former Notre Dame great Chris Zorich and his life after football in college and the NFL.

Vorel will 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 11th-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 11, and from there another group of judges ranked the finalists in order from 1 to 11 separately on a secret ballot. Entries were given 11 points for a first-place vote, 10 for second, etc. The winner and final rankings are determined by tallying the ballots.

Entries in APSE’s features category were judged on human interest, reader interest, quality of writing and thoroughness of reporting.

The top 11 are listed below with links to writers’ Twitter pages, APSE member websites and the winning entries.

1 . Mike Vorel, South Bend Tribune, 60 points, 1 first-place vote

Notre Dame great Chris Zorich climbs out of ‘bad place’ and finds a new calling

2 . Mark Emmert, Des Moines Register, 59 points, 4 first-place votes

Football ‘literally killed’ 24-year-old Zac Easter of Iowa. His family vows to make the sport safer.

3 . Cyd Zeigler, Outsports, 50 points, 1 first-place vote

Former Patriots and Chiefs tackle Ryan O’Callaghan comes out as gay

4 . Andrew John, Desert Sun, 46 points

Diego De La Hoya spent years trying to escape his cousin’s shadow. With his next fight, he believes he can finally do it

  1. Aaron Kasinitz, The Patriot-News/, 38 points

For Eagles’ Alshon Jeffery, tiny-town upbringing paved road from hardwood to NFL stardom

6 . Mark Giannotto, Commercial Appeal, 34 points

Malik Monk’s hometown: Visiting Lepanto, Arkansas

7 . Robert Anderson, Roanoke Times, 33 points

Proposal would rename courts after Roanoke tennis legend

8 . Shad Powers, Desert Sun, 32 points

The rehabilitation of Todd Marinovich: Embattled QB thriving in desert recovery community

9 . Joey LoMonaco, Free Lance-Star, 23 points

In fields of play or peril, Stafford teen responds

10 . Godwin Kelly, Daytona Beach News Journal, 12 points

‘It’s the ultimate high’: 3 generations of short-track racers share common themes

11 . David Dorsey, News-Press, 9 points

Master ticket scalper bucks trend, profits from Spring Training games