Upcoming all-county teams could battle any newspaper’s team

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 5, 2008

June 5, 2008

The most difficult decisions sports staffers of The Vicksburg Post make come when each sports season ends and all-county awards are distributed.

The common belief is the coaches pick our end-of-the-year teams. Others believe it is parents.

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It’s neither. The three-person sports staff in this office is solely responsible for picking the teams. We ask coaches for their input, for statistics we haven’t kept and such questions as, “If you were picking, who would you take?” We figure coaches see more games than we do, so getting their input is vital.

Of course, coaches are naturally biased in favor of their own players. We’ve had baseball coaches claim, without a shadow of a doubt, that their teams needed at least eight players on the team. We only pick 15 from four schools.

We talk to coaches who have gone against players, seen others play in summer. We ask coaches from high school to college level. There really is a lot put into our selections.

Sometimes the results are questionable, drawing the ire from family and friends of players who, “tried just as hard and deserved it just as much.”

The biggest obstacle we face is trying to get a team together representing Class 5A, 4A, 1A and Academy A players. Could the best player on the smallest classification team hang with the best player from a 5A? If a player hits .400 at a 1A, would that equal .300 at a 4A? The questions really cannot be answered. If they don’t play against one another and the competition chasm is as wide as it is, we have to put school size behind us.

The fact is, our all-county baseball team, which will be unveiled on Sunday, is as stacked as ever. I would take our 15 baseball picks, load up on the yellow dog and go anywhere in this state and take on any other newspaper’s all-county team. Vicksburg again would be a state championship town.

Similarly, I would take our softball team, which will be announced Saturday, almost anywhere in the state for an all-county matchup.

In baseball and softball this past season, we had seven teams playing and seven make the postseason. It rarely happens like that in winter sports and having four playoff football teams is a rarity. But for baseball and softball, our teams win and they win consistently.

When perusing the all-county teams in Saturday and Sunday’s paper, rest assured that much went into picking each player. There were some obvious choices and then some difficult ones. Some players who feel they are deserving, or at least their parents think they are deserving, were probably left off. With only 15 spots to fill and four teams to pick from, the choices get pretty difficult to make sometime. But we put an incredible amount of thought into our picks and the result is two of the best all-county teams I can remember,

I’ll supply the uniforms. You buy the diesel. Deal?


Sean P. Murphy is sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. E-mail him at