All-County selections bring out the grinch

Published 9:00 am Thursday, December 24, 2015

We’ve only been running our All-County football team on Christmas for less than a decade, but now that it’s been a few years it seems wholly appropriate. Making the selections sometimes leaves me feeling like a grinch.

Ninety percent of the people on the team are no-brainers. Guys like Vicksburg receiver Te’Darious Brown and Warren Central safety Byron Galvin made the all-state team and were Mississippi all-stars. Not too hard to jot their names on the list and move on to the next one.

But then there’s some positions where we have to examine microscopic details of a player’s season.

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At quarterback, for example, both Vicksburg’s Joe Johnson and Warren Central’s Jesse Wilson had solid years. Do we pick the one with better passing or rushing stats? The one who won a playoff game or the one who played well enough down the stretch to get his team to the postseason?

It’s a similar dilemma at other positions, as well as for our postseason awards. Is a guy like Brown, who set a couple of Warren County receiving records, a better choice than St. Al running back DeMichael Harris, who shattered rushing records?

Whoever we pick, there’s some debate and people who are unhappy. Every year there’s a couple of un avoidable snubs. That’s the part that makes me feel grinchy. I wish we could honor everyone, but it’s just not feasible.

We have 32 spots available between the offense, defense, special teams and the player of the year awards, which are divided among only four high schools. Some snubs — like our quarterback dilemma, where we only pick one — come from the format of the team. Others arise as we try to balance all of the factors that go into our decision.

I feel bad for those guys. I really do. After all of that hard work, it can feel like we’re snatching a toy from them on Christmas morning if they open the paper and don’t see their face.

It’s the nature of the beast. The all-county team recognizes the best of the best. It’s not a participation trophy.

The 2015 Vicksburg Post All-County Defense will be in Friday’s edition, and the Offense in Saturday’s. Enjoy. Watching from high above Whoville, I know it’s always a fun time of year no matter who makes it and who doesn’t.

Ernest Bowker is a sports writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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