By John Bednarowski
APSE First Vice President

Matt L. Stephens and Kelly Lyell of the Fort Collins Coloradoan won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2017 contest in the Breaking News Story category for the Under 30,000 circulation division.
Stephens and Lyell won for their story on how Larry Eustachy allegedly intimidated and emotionally abused players while he was at Colorado State. The winner in each category will receive a plaque at the 2018 APSE Summer Conference in Nashville. The banquet and awards dinner will conclude the APSE Summer Conference, which takes place June 17-20 at at the Marriott Hotel Nashville / Vanderbilt University.
Sarah Rafique of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal finished second. Brett Vito of the Denton Record-Chronicle was third.
Sports editors in the Under 30,000 category submitted 65 Breaking News Story entries. 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, 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 St. Petersburg, 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, 9 points for second and so on 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 top 10 is listed below, with links to writers’ Twitter pages, APSE member websites and winning entries.

  1. Matt L. Stephens and Kelly Lyell, Fort Collins Coloradoan, 59 points (Five first-place votes)

CSU: Larry Eustachy intimidated, emotionally abused players
2. Sarah Rafique, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 46 points

Texas Tech releases Title IX documents on Duffey suspension after ruling

  1. Brett Vito, Denton Record-Chronicle, 43 points

Former Nicholls State basketball coach involved in UNT hoops scandal

  1. Brad Elliott Schlossman, Grand Forks Herald, 38 points

UND cuts women’s hockey, men’s and women’s swimming

  1. Mike DeFabo, Anderson Herald, 34 points (One first-place vote)

Sindelar wins bowl offensive MVP on torn ACL

  1. Cecil Hurt, The Tuscaloosa News, 32 points

Kobie Baker resignation tied to FBI investigation

  1. Brian Achatz, Pensacola News Journal, 26 points

Tate High athletic director arrested for larceny, fraud

  1. Eric Wallace, Pensacola News Journal, 24 points

Scheduling conflict leads to Escambia-Lighthouse cancellation, forfeit and $7,856 fine

  1. Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald, 15 points

SEC will look at changes to its graduate transfer policies at spring meetings

  1. Shannon Marvel, American News (Aberdeen S.D.), 13 points

6 tennis courts to be eliminated when Northern improves soccer, football practice fields