Derrick Goold, who covers the St. Louis Cardinals for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2015 contest in Beat Writing for the 75-175,000 circulation category.

Goold’s body of work included his breaking story of the Cardinals firing their scouting director in the midst of a hacking investigation. Gould will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2016 APSE banquet. The banquet and awards dinner concludes the APSE Conference June 22-25 at The Omni in Charlotte, N.C.

Gould collected three of the seven first-place votes and finished with 63 points. Finishing second was Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, who finished with 62 points and three first-place votes. Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News finished in third with 51 points.

Sports editors in the 75-175,000 category submitted 37 beat writing entries. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Contest chair Tommy Deas 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 late February and early March, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference at Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., 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, 9 points for second and 8 points for third place. 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 beat writing category recognizes the most authoritative, newsy and innovative coverage of a beat during 2015. Each APSE member news organization was permitted to submit up to two entries of five stories each. Each entry consisted of at least one breaking news story, one event or game coverage, one enterprise piece and two wild­card stories that could include a blog post.

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


  1. Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3 first-place votes, 63 points

A Cardinals core for the ages meets its next generation

Wong carries a mountain with him to the plate

Martinez wins one for Taveras

Cardinals fire scouting director as hacking investigations continue

Baseball finds an ally named Castro


  1. Michael Phillips, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, 3 first-place votes, 62 points

The rise and fall of RGIII

Redskins return amid renewed concerns about economic performance

Fights bring premature end to Redskins-Texans joint practice

Depleted Redskins unable to hang with Jets in second half

Redskins Sunday playbook


  1. Tyler Dunne, The Buffalo News, 51 points

Bills’ Dareus keeps playing through life’s losses

Bills’ Butler finds faith in forgiveness

Fifteen years later, the ‘Miracle’ lingers on for Bills

Bills receiver Sammy Watkins: ‘Just target me’

‘We know Fitz:’ Leodis McKelvin calls his shot, backs it up vs. Jets


  1. Jason Kersey, The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 1 first-place vote, 41 points

OU football: Baker Mayfield leads Sooners past Baylor, 44-34

Oklahoma football: Eric Striker can’t stay silent any longer

Oklahoma football: The price of progress is bittersweet for longtime South end zone season ticket holders

How OU offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley’s brilliance carried him from Muleshoe and onto the coaching fast track

Oklahoma football: Former Sooner great battling ALS


  1. Jason Wolf, The Tennessean (Nashville), 40 points

Titans’ Delanie Walker collects records on, off field

Titans love their hands-free scooters

Fran Tarkenton on Marcus Mariota: It’s the character

Can Mularkey succeed where others failed?

Titans hit new low in loss to Jets


  1. Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald, 32 points

Bulpett: Before Patriots hate, it was Celtics paranoia

Celtics’ failed trade talks tough to swallow

Kelly Olynyk a dead-eye shooter

Bulpett: 30 years later ’86 Celtics still a team for ages

Isiah Thomas praises Celtics’ pickup of Isaiah Thomas


  1. Ryan O’Halloran, Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.), 30 points

Inside look at the Jaguars’ draft process

Tony Khan using passion for analytics, football to help build Jaguars

Jaguars’ deal in London extended 5 years with option for more in future

Jaguars QB Blake Bortles enters season confident he’s prepared, ready to lead

Jaguars coach Gus Bradley’s task: Difficult, but not impossible


  1. Brian Davis, Austin (Texas) American-Statesman, 27 points

Texas officials fly to Tulsa, land offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert

UT audit finds Longhorns staff used prime seats to play favorites, help ticket brokers

Texas, Washington headed to China: ‘This isn’t just a basketball game’

‘Stole the heart of Richmond’

After third concussion, guard Felix admits health concern


  1. Stephen Bailey, The Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.), 20 points

Robert Washington says he decommitted based on lack of trust in Syracuse assistant

Shyheim Cullen’s journey to Syracuse includes 8 foster homes, hospitals and an academic comeback

Scott Shafer’s questionable timeout, blown kickoff lead to Florida State TD to end 1st half

Scott Shafer’s letter to Syracuse football team before final game as coach

How many hits did Syracuse QB Eric Dungey take in exciting performance against Virginia?


  1. Jeff McDonald, San Antonio Express-News, 19 points

The Making of LaMarcus: Spurs’ offseason coup has Dallas roots

How the Spurs built Kawhi Leonard into a monster

Spurs’ foreign policy: Draft, stash, repeat

Spurs hook summer’s biggest fish in Aldridge

Circus shot by Paul sinks Spurs in classic Game 7