By Todd M. Adams, APSE Second Vice President

Lars Anderson of Bleacher Report won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2017 contest in feature writing for the Over 175,000 circulation category.

Anderson will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2018 APSE Summer Conference Banquet at the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University on June 20.

Anderson edged runner-up Mike Sielski from the Philadelphia Inquirer. Andy McCullough from the Los Angeles Times placed third.

Sports editors in the Over 175,000 category submitted 79 feature entries. The contest
is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Contest chair John Bednarowski and fellow APSE officers Todd M. Adams, Robert Gagliardi and Jeff Rosen 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, nine points for second and so on down 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 winner in each category will receive a plaque at the 2018 APSE Summer Conference at the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University on June 17-20. The second- through 10th-place writers will receive frameable certificates.

The feature writing category judges human interest, reader interest, quality of writing and thoroughness of reporting. The top 10 is listed below with links to writers’ Twitter pages, APSE member websites and winning entries.

  1. Lars Anderson, Bleacher Report, 57 points, 3 first-place votes

The death of a teenage quarterback

2. Mike Sielski, Philadelphia Inquirer, 41 points, 1 first-place vote

The late Michael Brooks left behind more than the city when he moved to Europe nearly 30 years ago. 

3.  Andy McCulloughThe Los Angeles Times, 39 points

How Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi became one of the most coveted minds in baseball

(Tied) 4. Tom Junod, ESPN, 35 points, 1 first-place vote

The Greatest, At Rest

(Tied) 4.  Kent BabbThe Washington Post, 35 points

Ex-NFL player Larry Johnson grapples with violent urges and memory loss. He thinks it’s CTE.

6.  Nathan FennoThe Los Angeles Times, 33 points

Friends swore he would be the next Derek Jeter, but Brandon Martin is now charged in three killings

(Tied) 7.  Josh PeterUSA Today, 32 points, 1 first-place vote

Is this the future face of sports gambling?

(Tied) 7.  Jeff PearlmanBleacher Report, 32 points

The baller, the teacher, the trigger: How one man lived and died for NBA dreams

9.  Mike DiGiovannaThe Los Angeles Times, 17 points

NFL player Konrad Reuland died at 29. But his heart saved baseball legend Rod Carew

10.  Eric AdelsonYahoo!Sports, 9 points

Saving Beckley from opioids, one practice at a time

11. Sam Borden, ESPN

Eternal champions