Sammy Batten, Kris Kroi, Melissa Sue Gerrits, Thomas Pope and Matt Leclercq of The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer and Chad Lawhorn of the Lawrence Journal-World tied for first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2018 contest in Projects for the C Division.

Andrew John and Brett Kelman of The Desert Sun finished third.

Sports editors in the C Division submitted 16 project entries. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Contest chair Todd M. Adams and fellow APSE officers John Bednarowski, Lisa Wilson and Dan Spears prepared entries, which included online links to stories for the first time this year.

In February, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla., and off-site around the country, selected a top six, with each judge ranking the entries in order from 1 to 6 separately on a secret ballot. Entries were given six points for a first-place vote, five points for second and so on down to one point for a sixth-place vote. The final six were given to a second judging group, which ranked the entries 1-6 in the same fashion.

The winner and final rankings are determined by tallying the ballots.

Batten, Kroi, Gerrits, Pope, Leclercq and Lawhorn will be presented first-place plaques at the 2019 APSE Summer Conference Banquet at the Omni CNN Center in Atlanta on June 19. The second- through 6th-place writers will receive frameable certificates.

In this category, projects are described as content that sheds new light on personalities and issues in the news, including trends and original ideas. To be eligible, these stories must be pre-planned and executed as a larger body of work, not as ongoing coverage of a news event or over a period of time. Projects were limited to 10 stories for each entry, with supplemental material or other stories explained in a cover letter.

The top six is listed below with links to the winning entries..
T-1. Sammy Batten, Kris Kroi, Melissa Sue Gerrits, Thomas Pope and Matt Leclercq, The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer 32 points, four first-place votes

T-1 Chad Lawhorn, Lawrence Journal-World 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 32 points, two first-place votes

3. Andrew John and Brett Kelman, The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, Calif.) 1 2 3 4 25 points

4. Randy Whitehouse, Wil Kramlich, Adam Robinson, Tony Blasi, Lee Horton, Sun  Journal (Lewiston, Maine) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 15 points

5. Eric Schmoldt, John Barry, The Janesville Gazette 1 2 3 12 points

6. Sam King and Ken Thompson, Journal & Courier (Lafayette, Ind.) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 points


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