By Jeff Rosen

APSE President

Guerin Emig of The Tulsa World won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2017 contest in project reporting in the 30,000-75,000 circulation category.

Emig’s winning project was published in two parts and looked at the sacrifice and commitment of Tulsa Public’s nine high school football coaches.

Emig 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 10th-place winners will receive frameable certificates.

The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Andrew John and Larry Bohannan of the Desert Sun (Palm Springs, Calif.) placed second to Emig and Mark Giannotto of the the Memphis Commercial Appeal finished third.

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, 9 for second, etc. The winner and final rankings were determined by tallying the ballots.

APSE’s projects category looks for work that sheds new light on personalities and issues in the news, including trends and original ideas.

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

1 . Guerin Emig, The Tulsa World, 46 points

Beyond Friday Night Lights Part 1: The sacrifice and commitment of Tulsa Public’s nine high school football coaches

Beyond Friday Night Lights Part 2: ‘You want to change a kid’s life? Go coach here’

2 . Andrew John, Larry Bohannan, the Desert Sun (Palm Springs, Calif.), 44 points, 1 first-place vote

2 concussions, 30 doctors and 3 years of hearing ‘I don’t know.’

Brain disease from NFL ended her dad’s life, but it won’t stop her son from playing football

For 79-year-old former Raider, football cost him treasured memories and lifetime savings

3 . Mark Giannotto, Memphis Commercial Appeal, 42 points, 1 first-place vote

East basketball star Alex Lomax lives out his father’s dreams as ‘the face of Team Penny’

The Prospect: D.J. Jeffries, family embrace pressure of being a top recruit

The Potential: For Malcolm Dandridge, being ‘the biggest kid in Memphis’ isn’t always easy

Jayden Hardaway wants to be more than just Penny’s kid on basketball court

The Peach Jam: Behind the scenes as Team Penny tries to balance talent with teamwork

T-4 . Greg Luca, McAllen (Texas) Monitor, 38 points, 1 first-place vote

The agony of Jai Steadman

The descent of Jai Steadman

The rebirth of Jai Steadman

T-4. Staff, The Canton Repository, 38 points

When Lehman boys basketball made Canton a champion

Knights of Columbus: Aquinas’ 1996 girls tennis team set the standard for Stark County

A loaded McKinley 1960 swimming and diving team broke records and kept a state title streak going

State champs at last: The story of the 1983-84 McKinley boys basketball team

Day of dominance for Canal Fulton in 1938

In 1972, Malone’s cross country team went the distance

‘We were like a machine’: Mather’s Massillon teams dominated Ohio from 1950-53

Defense, conditioning keyed McKinley’s 2010 state title

Crusaders for life and champions forever

Dominant D keyed McKinley’s state title run in 1981

6 . Ken Willis, Godwin Kelly, Daytona Beach News-Journal, 31 points, 1 first-place

NASCAR and concussions: An old problem, a new concern

Part 1: Addressing the Problem

Part 2: On Bobby Allison

Part 3: What is CTE?

Part 4: Short Track Dangers

NASCAR’s ‘safety evolution’

7 . Mark Story, Josh Moore, Lexington Herald-Leader, 30 points, 1 first-place vote

The Sweetest Century: An oral history of one of Kentucky’s most-revered state tournaments

The Sweetest Century: The team that saved Kentucky’s Sweet Sixteen

The Sweetest Century: Mason County’s Chris Lofton was ‘One of a kind’

Clay County vs. Ballard: The rivalry that showed the Sweet Sixteen’s best

The Sweetest Century: A year-by-year history of the boys’ Sweet Sixteen

30 years later, Clay County’s ‘Boxhead’ Rawlings relishes his Sweet Sixteen heroics

‘Nobody made a big issue of it at the time.’ Hazard played surprising role in integrating the Sweet 16

Catching up with some of the Sweet 16’s great folk heroes

At 100, Sweet 16 remains authentically ‘Kentucky’

The Sweetest Century: Ten iconic Kentucky boys basketball tournament teams

8 . Frank Scandale, Mike Zacchio, Nancy Haggerty, Stephen Haynes, Journal News (White Plains, N.Y.), 29 points

Abuse, pay driving referees away in public high schools

Refs say a culture of abuse has to change

Money may not be enough to grow ranks for high schools

Number of officials fails to add up, with age a concern

9 . Adam Zuvanich, San Antonio Express-News, 23 points, 1 first-place vote

Ticket to the top: How tiny St. Anthony Catholic High School got involved in a questionable recruiting pipeline

St. Anthony coach wins custody battle over Bassey

St. Anthony coach Hennssy Auriantal dismissed after Charles Bassey controversy

College basketball recruiting scandal raises more questions about Bassey

10 . Dan Fleser, Knoxville News Sentinel, 9 points

How 5 persistent women were able to restore the Lady Vols name, logo

Lady Vols petition drive was ‘heartbeat’ for restoration of name, logo

Lady Vols museum or garage? Retired school teachers have it all