Bednarowski earned third place for all columnists at newspapers with a daily circulation of fewer than 30,000 subscribers. His achievement comes just weeks after the Journal sports section was recognized as a “Triple Crown” winner by the APSE for outstanding daily, Sunday and special sections.
“John’s recognition for column writing crowns a stellar year for our sports department,” said Journal Managing Editor Billy Mitchell. “John’s ability to take his keen perceptions and insights into sports and then bring it to the front sports page with his enlightening columns is unique, indeed.”
His winning entry included a collection of five columns that were written during the 2013 calendar year.
The columns were:
* KSU needn’t go far to find its first football coach — an analysis of Kennesaw State’s three finalists in its search for the Owls’ first football coach.
* Bohannon has Cobb coaches’ seal of approval — reaction by Cobb County’s high school football coaches on Kennesaw State’s hiring of Brian Bohannon as football coach.
* Koester deserves chance to coach — a feature column looking back at former South Cobb coach Ed Koester’s career and his challenge at finding a new head coaching position at age 57.
* GHSA does Cobb no favors — an analysis of the new regions constructed by the Georgia High School Association for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years and what it meant for the sports programs at Osborne High School and Pope High School.
* Overcoming early jitters, Mason wins for Bulldogs — a game-story column recapping former Lassiter star quarterback Hutson Mason rallying Georgia past Georgia Tech in his first collegiate start.
At the beginning of March, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in Indianapolis 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 1 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 column writing category is judged based on style, writing quality, originality and local appeal. There is no restriction on subject matter and no requirement that the column appears regularly. Each news organization is permitted two entries in this category.
During the APSE Winter Conference, the MDJ sports section earned the prestigious “Triple Crown” for being named one of the top 10 best daily section, Sunday section and special section in the under 15,000 circulation category. Kickoff 2013, the annual paper’s annual high school football preview issue, was also honored as top-10 in the under 30,000 circulation category as was the daily section.
This is the second time Bednarowski has earned writing honors from APSE. Last year he earned top-10 recognition in the beat writing category.
Mike Sherman, APSE first vice president and sports editor of The Oklahoman contributed to this report.