Selecting county's best no easy task

If you’ve been reading the sports section of The Tribune lately, you probably noticed something new we are doing — naming an Athlete of the Year in each sport as well as an all-county team.

It’s something you see several other newspapers do, and we thought it was a good thing to start. It’s another way to recognize all of the hard work and time local high school athletes put in during the season. They put in a lot more work and time than most people probably realize.

But with anything new, you never know how it’s going to go, and it’s likely you learn some things along the way. That sure was the case for me.

At first, I thought, “This is the The Tribune’s selections. We don’t need to talk to anyone else about it. Our sports writers need to get together and make the decisions.” I found out, though, that it doesn’t hurt to contact the local coaches and get their input, and that would help me and the sports stringers, Arv Koontz and Dennis Dunn, make the final selections.

We considered several things when determining the Athlete of the Year and all-county team. Of course, you take a look at the athletes’ season statistics and if they led their team or led the county or if anything else stands out.

But it’s not all about stats. You should consider how the athlete handles themselves in competition; how they work with their teammates, coaches and officials; and how they act toward their opponent.

Other things to consider include the offseason work that the athletes put in, awards they receive, what they accomplish and what they help their team accomplish. Each sport had a different amount of county schools participating, and we made sure to include athletes from each school.

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