Making the call

Let’s go into a hypothetical situation for a moment.

Before I present the scenario, I’ll give a little background information on what I’m heading toward.

While some may or may not know, I’ve been the West Virginia all-state volleyball committee chairperson for a vast majority of the years I’ve worked at the paper.

Now, depending on the chairperson and the sport, some people like to use last year’s all-state team as a guide.

That basically means if a player was on the first team last year and they didn’t do anything to necessarily play their way off the first unit they are going to repeat.

Going along with that same thought process, after the first team returners are discussed the second team is looked at in depth.

The idea is to decide whether or not anyone who was a second teamer of an all-state squad from say 2013 deserves to be moved up to the 2014 first unit.

Although what I talked about above indeed has played out in all-state meetings I’ve attended, there is also an opposite line of thinking.

For example, if we are trying to determine the best players for an all-state squad for 2014, what does the previous year have to do with anything? Therefore, it’s possible last year’s team will have no impact on the current one being selected.

To me, they are both interesting scenarios or views on how to go about things.

I’m not necessarily for or against either line of thinking, but as it is often said there are different strokes for different folks.

In the end, at least for me, the goal is to have the best players represented on any all-state team and how the committee gets there usually isn’t as important as hopefully leaving the meeting as a group and thinking everyone did the best job they could.

The worst situation to be in, at least for me when it happens, is when two deserving players from my area are vying for one spot. Often times when that happens, the call is left up to that sports writer to decide who makes the cut for a spot on a team or which player should be included in a vote-off where a position may have three worthy candidates but only two spots to fill.

Unfortunately, when it comes to our all-state baseball teams there is only one catching slot for the first and second units.

I can’t say Johnny Riggs of St. Marys and Jake Boice of Parkersburg Catholic didn’t have a shot at first team Class A all-state catcher.

However, the returning first team pick – Clay-Battelle junior Kurt Latocha – had quite the season and he was worthy.

Still, that doesn’t mean at the end of the day I’m at all pleased with what transpired.

That includes Boice being placed on honorable mention instead of special honorable, especially considering he was discussed for first team status, but the call I made was obviously overturned.

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com