By John Bednarowski,

APSE Second Vice President

Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2016 contest in Feature Writing category for the 75,000-175,000 circulation category.

Fowler won for his story on former Carolina Panther Rae Carruth’s son. The winner in each category will receive a plaque at the 2017 APSE Summer Conference at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans June 26-29. (Click here to register for the conference). The banquet and awards dinner will conclude the APSE Summer Conference, which takes place June 26-29 at The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans.

Fowler beat out runner-up Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Eric Kolenich of the Richmond Times-Dispatch placed third.

Sports editors in the 75,000-175,000 category submitted 81 feature entries. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Contest chair Jeff Rosen and fellow APSE officers Tommy Deas, John Bednarowski and Robert Gagliardi 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 Lake Buena Vista, 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 features category judges a single story 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 winning entries.

  1. Scott Fowler,  Charlotte Observer 58 points (3 first-place votes)

Rae Carruth’s son will be at prison gates when father who wanted him dead goes free

2. Stephen J. Nesbitt,  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 53 points (3 first-place votes)

Note to self


  1. Eric Kolenich, Richmond Times-Dispatch 38 points

‘No life worth having like this’: A former Mills Godwin High School soccer player’s story of addiction, desperation and recovery

  1. Dan O’Neill, St. Louis Post-Dispatch 37 points

9-year-old burn survivor got unexpected inspiration from Jack Buck

  1. John Whisler, San Antonio Express-News 31 points

Cut above rest: S.A.’s Villanueva a boxer’s best friend

  1. Michael Cohen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 29 points

Jermichael Finley runs a new route in life

  1. Andy Hamilton, Des Moines Register 28 points

Ex-Hawkeye, Olympic hopeful has quite a tale to tell

  1. Adam Jude, The Seattle Times 27 points

UW lineman Kaleb McGary: ‘I’m finally starting to see speckles of light, man’

  1. Danielle Lerner, Louisville Courier-Journal 16 points

  1. Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch 11 points

Holliday might be moving on, but his impact in St. Louis is long-lasting



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