Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Picking All-Heritage team is tough work

I think it's three years now that we've been sitting down to select an All-Heritage football team. It's been tough every year. It seems there are always more deserving players than there are positions. It further complicates matters that I'm not objective enough when it comes to the sports teams I cover to base my choices solely on stats or size. I can't hide that there are some players I want on the team simply because I like their attitude on the field, I like the way they hit, or I like they way they lead on the sidelines. Maybe I just like that one tme they caught a third-and-long pass and put out the extra effort to get some YACs and the first down. It may be the only catch the kid had all year, but when I sit down to consider who warrants a spot on the All-Heritage team, I remember that play and think, "That was a pretty sweet catch, man. That dude deserves to be on the AH team!" It's an emotional reaction for me.

After all, these are my guys. I've been covering them all season long. And I want my guys on the AH squad. If it were solely up to me, there would be a preponderance of my guys on that team. Just the way I try to stack the All-Star ballot with Tigers.

Fortunately, I guess, there are my fellow sportswriters with whom I must consult and they temper my inclination to favor my guys. They're a difficult bunch of fellows to persuade that a kid should make the AH list simply because I say, "You should have seen this one catch!" They like to factor in stats and size as well. They're reasonable.

"They can't all be your guys," they say.

And that is true. So we settle in and do the best we can to distribute the honors and pick the best players for each position without coming to blows (which we never have). This year there was a cornucopia of outstanding area linebackers. We could have easily named seven to the AH team, but you can't have seven linebackers, can you? So a couple of my guys didn't make it, which bums me out.

But selecting the All-Heritage team is supposed to be tough. In fact, the tougher it is, the better year it was for all the teams, and that's a good thing.

Still, I look at the team and can't help thinking for some of the positions, "That should have been one of my guys."

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