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Sometimes we flat out whiff on all-county picks

Over the course of the high school sports year, The Vicksburg Post picks all-county teams in a half-dozen sports. We watch dozens of games, keep abreast of the statistical arcs of teams and players, and in the end make what should be informed choices on the best players in town.

Sometimes, deserving players get left off the list because of fierce competition or limited roster spots. When you’re parsing similar stats there comes a point where you simply have to pick somebody.

When that happens, we’ll offer explanations to the coaches and families if they ask but don’t offer apologies. The decisions are difficult, but justifiable. If we apologized for every deserving player that we’ve ever snubbed, the whole thing loses its integrity. You make a decision and stand by it.

Sometimes, though, we flat out screw it up like we did this season and need to throw an apology out there.
St. Aloysius outfielder Brandon Steed had an outstanding season by any measure. He led his team and was third in Warren County with a .420 batting average. He only struck out four times in 66 plate appearances, scored 15 runs and even was a solid pitcher. On the mound, he had a 3-1 record and 2.49 ERA. He was the offensive MVP of a St. Al team that finished with a winning record.

Steed deserved to be on the all-county baseball team, but wasn’t.

Why, you ask?

Because the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post (me) is a moron/doesn’t know what he’s doing/insert your own disparaging comment here.

In poring over the stats of nearly 50 players from four teams, somehow Steed’s did not register as impressive even though they were better than several other all-county players.

I really don’t have an explanation or an excuse for why. Maybe I got confused about what position he played and left him off to balance out the team. Maybe I saw one of his stats and downgraded him for some strange reason despite his other totals being outstanding.

It was a terrible oversight.

We can’t reprint the all-county section. What’s done is done. The Steed family has been disappointed but gracious in how they took the news, and I would like to both thank them for that and apologize.

Our track record in these things is pretty good over the long haul. Even the best miss occasionally. When we miss this badly, however, it’s unfair to somebody who has done things well and deserves to be recognized.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

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 sports reporters in the paper's 137-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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