It’s no secret in prep football circles that there are those upset with All-East and All-State team selections.
But that’s the nature of the beast. Nary a football season goes by that someone — a player, parent, fan or friend — isn’t miffed when a certain player is picked over another.
For example, there are those who will vehemently argue that Payson’s Westin Gibson should have been on the 3A coaches All-State first team ahead of Florence’s Kyle Washington.
Some argue Washington didn’t play the caliber of gridiron competition that Gibson faced against the likes of 3A tough guys Show Low, Blue Ridge and Snowflake.
Around the state, there are most likely scores of others who argue their favorite player was slighted in the selection process.
Having been involved in many past all-region, all-state and all-star selection meetings, I understand well the process is not an exact science and there will always be arguments and debates surrounding deserving players.
The first year I participated in an all-star selection meeting, a wily-old veteran coach sat near me dead set on lobbying for his player over my nominee.
After nominating my player and him throwing his player in the mix, the befuddling of this first-year head coach began in earnest.
“How much can your player bench press?” he asked in front of a room full of coaches.
“About 275,” I answered.
He countered, “Mine can do 325.”
Next, he asked, “How fast is your kid in the 40?”
“About 4.6,” I replied.
“Mine can do 4.4,” he said.
Next, the cagey coach asked, “What’s your kid’s height and weight?”
I said, “6-foot, 1–inch, 215 pounds.”
“My kid is 6-foot, 2-inches and 225 pounds,” he blasted back.
Readers can probably guess which of the two nominees coaches selected first team and which one fell to second team.
But that meeting was a learning process for this rookie. At all selection meetings that followed, I made sure that sly and cunning old coach spurted his kid’s qualifications before I allowed mine to be made.
And then I fudged a bit making sure my kid was superior in all stats to his nominee.
Like I said, the process is not rocket science.
The town scene
Action is fast and furious in town-hosted recreation programs with youth basketball and women’s volleyball programs heating up the Rim Country sports scene.
The girls fifth- and sixth-grade basketball program has drawn three teams — Fever, Liberty and Mercury — that meet in round robin play each Saturday in the Rim Country Middle School gym. Single games will also be played at 7:30 p.m. on two Fridays — Jan. 21 and 28.
The fifth- and sixth-grade boys basketball program has five teams competing — Suns, Cavaliers, Grizzlies, Lakers and Wizards.
Games began Dec. 11 and will continue until Jan. 29 in the RCMS gym. A trio of games is played each Saturday and single games are set for the Fridays of Jan. 7 and 14.
The competitive pool in the women’s volleyball league features five teams — Herrera Guide Service, Serves You Right, Dig This, England and Big O/Paradise Nails.
Games began Dec. 13 and will be played until Jan 19 during the evening hours in the RCMS gymnasium.
In the recreation pool of the town women’s volleyball league, five squads are battling for supremacy. They are PRMC, Shear
Oasis, Outta Bounds, Off the Wall and Newton. Games are played each Tuesday and Thursday until Jan. 18 in the middle school gym.
On Jan. 20, a season-ending seeded women’s volleyball tournament will begin and continue until Jan. 28 when the championship is decided. Each team is guaranteed at least two games.
Youth, adult basketball and spring soccer registrations on tap
The Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department is taking registration for the third- and fourth-grade Junior NBA Youth Basketball program
Registration closes Jan. 21 and costs $30 per child. The games will be played from Jan. 29 through March 12 at the Rim Country Middle School gym.
Also, registration for the town Men’s Basketball League began Monday, Dec. 27 and continues through Friday, Jan. 28. Games will be played at the old gym at Payson High School between Feb. 7 and March 17.
The cost is $250 per team and participants on every team must be at least 18.
Also on the P&R scene, Youth Spring Soccer registration will be held from Feb. 1 through March 18, with play from April 4 through May 14 at the Rumsey Park Multi-Purpose Fields.
The cost is $25 per child and the program is open to children in pre-kindergarten classes through the 12th grade.
For more information, call Trevor LaHaye at (928) 474-5242, extension 7.