March 28, 2018

By Robert Gagliardi, APSE Third Vice President

Gary D’Amato of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2017 contest in feature writing for the 75,000-175,000 circulation category.

D’Amato won for his feature on the 1967 NFL Championship Game. He 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 Ed Miller of The Virginian-Pilot for his feature following a NBA referee for a day. Third place went to Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman about a raggedy baseball field meaning a lot to some local kids.

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.

The feature writing category judged the best single article. Judging was based on 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 the winning entries.

  1. Gary D’Amato.Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 53 points, 4 first-place votes

   The Ice Bowl, 50 years later: An oral history of the Packers-Cowboys 1967 NFL Championship Game


  1. Ed Miller.The Virginian-Pilot. 44 points, 1 first-place vote

 A ref’s life: One long day under the looking glass with NBA official Leroy Richardson


  1. Jenni Carlson, The Oklahoman, 41 points

     Why a raggedy baseball field in Edmond has become a field of dreams for some local boys


  1. Dirk Chatelain, Omaha World-Herald, 36 points

     After brief time as parents, Burke High seniors learn hard lessons on grief, strength and growing up  


  1. Jayson Jenks, The Seattle Times, 32 points

     Semaj Booker made national headlines at age 9 for running away. He hasn’t stopped running since


  1.   Chris Heady, Omaha World-Herald, 30 points

     Stanley Morgan’s motivation goes beyond record game; NU wide receiver ‘owes everything’ to mother


  1. Ross Dellenger, The Advocate, 27 points, 1 first-place vote   

     Ole Miss and Ed Orgeron: The wild story behind the hire, and how it brought LSU to this moment


  1. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 26 points

     Once ‘labeled a menace to society,’ Louisville football’s Kemari Averett now a rising star


  1. Evan Bland, Omaha World-Herald, 22 points

     From cattle ranches to athletic departments, new Nebraska A.D. Bill Moos is always building


  1. David Hall,The Virginian-Pilot, 19 points

      For ex-NSU stars Lynden Trail and Deon King, the NFL is proving to be an adventure