March 29, 2018

By Robert Gagliardi, APSE Third Vice President

Geoff Baker and Hal Bernton of The Seattle Times won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2017 contest in explanatory writing in the 75,000-175,000 circulation category.

Baker and Bernton won for a story about a former Seattle Seahawks player fighting the team over painkiller handouts while he was a player. They 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.

Second place went to Andrew Greif of The Oregonian/OregonLive for a story about University of Oregon football. Third place went to Tim Sullivan of The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., about the legacy of former Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich.

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.

Explanatory stories include trends, issues, original ideas and should explain something. They shed new light on issues and personalities in the news.

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

  1. Geoff Baker and Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, 55 points, 1 first-place vote

   Ex-Seahawk fights team over painkiller handouts that kept him playing NFL games while hurt


  1. Andrew Greif, The Oregonian/OregonLive, 45 points

How the Oregon Ducks football season unraveled, and ended with coach Mark Helfrich’s firing


  1. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 44.25 points, 2 first-place votes

    Tom Jurich’s Louisville legacy: bold businessman or bully? Depends on who you ask


  1. Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 43 points

   Maness a trailblazer? New surgery for elbow repair cuts recovery time   


  1. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 42 points, 2 first-place votes

   Padres ‘all-in’ Dominican push shaping franchise future

   Rising stars Urias, Tatis Jr., unafraid to talk Padres championships

   MLB veteran Moises Alou helps guide Padres’ shift

   Preller’s global eye fuels full-scale transformation of Padres

   Manny Margot’s road to MLB dream has a name: Kilometer 56


  1. Dave Ammenheuser, The Tennessean, 36 points, 1 first-place vote

   Meet the Bluebirds: Nashville’s ultimate all-star baseball team


7t. Rick Cantu, Austin American-Statesman, 33 points

    Despite home-school families’ hopes, Tebow bill might fall incomplete

    Young swimmer dives into debate about home-schoolers competing in UIL


7t. Michael Cohen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 33 points

    Packers’ Russ Ball plays hardball with a heart

    Packers’ Russ Ball a man of immense influence and intrigue


7t. Jon Wilner, San Jose Mercury News/Bay Area News Group, 33 points

    Can superhuman athletes provide genetic clues on heart health?


  1. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, 23 points, 1 first-place vote

     See story here