Nick Underhill of The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2018 contest in Explanatory Story for the B Division.

Underhill beat out runner-up Brooks Kubena, also of The Advocate. Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette finished third.

Sports editors in the B Division submitted 68 explanatory 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 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.

Underhill will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2019 APSE Summer Conference Banquet at the Omni CNN Center in Atlanta on June 19. The second- through 10th-place writers will receive frameable certificates.

The judges looked for stories that included trends, issues, original ideas. They explained something. They shed new light on issues and personalities in the news. They were more than the feature and less than the project entry. They went beyond the “yesterday” of the breaking news story.

The top 10 is listed below with links to the winning entries.

  1. Nick Underhill, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.), 55 points, four first-place votes
  2. Brooks Kubena, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.), 50 points, one first-place vote
  3. Ryan Wood, Green Bay Press-Gazette, 42 points
  4. Andrew Carter, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 34 points, one first-place vote
  5. Kevin Thomas, Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, 31 points
  6. Daniel Simmons-Ritchie and Brian Linder, PennLive/Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.), 30 points
  7. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 29 points
  8. Mark Giannotto, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.), 25 points
  9. Nathan Ruiz, The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 20 points
  10. Steve Wiseman, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 19 points