Player of the Week revealed to readers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 18, 2007

If you frequent The Demopolis Times Web site and read the blogs there, you may be well aware that I received an anonymous letter from a parent regarding a player of the week choice. You will also be aware that, while I was not upset about the content of the letter, I did get perturbed about the fact that the person sending the letter declined to identify him or herself.

I am not sure why they did so, and hope in the future those that send letters would provide contact information so I might be able to talk with them further about their concerns. I say this because, while I did get a touch hot about the anonymity of the letter, I did feel that it voiced some very valid points. Points that I would have like to talk with the person about in further detail.

However since that is not possible and since I believe that, as Jane or John Doe put it: &8220;there are a great number of people wondering!&8221; I will try to address the letter&8217;s questions.

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First off the person questioned my choice of Player of the Week. They said that the player chosen was not a model athlete and asked, &8220;How a player that displayed the WORST sportsmanship gets named the player of the week?&8221;

To this I say firstly, the player is a leader of the team from which they were chosen. They have displayed remarkable talent and have shown that their understanding of the game eclipses the high school level of play. Their level of play on the field has contributed greatly to the success of the team in question, which is, as anonymous says, full of talented athletes.

Secondly, I was unaware at the time of the actions that were related to me by the concerned party. It happened that this Player of the Week was chosen by myself and under the tutelage of former Sports Editor James Gilmore on my first day on the job in the same position.

However, I do not know if foreknowledge of such actions would have dissuaded me from the choice. You must remember that these athletes are young adults. It is my experience, not being far removed from such an age, that young adults tend to make mistakes.

I ask if a person should be shunned from receiving accolades for a high school career of effort simply because of a mistake made in the heat of passion during a sporting event? Is this athlete a habitual offender who goes out of their way to hurt the other team with malicious intent?

Or perhaps, just maybe, they are an athlete. And like athletes they became flustered when their best efforts came to naught against an opponent.

You Mr., Ms. or Mrs. Doe are the one that holds these answers I don&8217;t have. It is a shame we couldn&8217;t talk further.

As to your last request: &8220;Please print how you go about making you selection for Player of the Week.&8221;

Well to tell you the truth there is no one set formula, but rather factors that lead to the decision of who receives the honor. Of course the person must play on a team (and I could see rare instances where this too might be over ridden for a trainer or someone that helps a team showing outstanding character), they normally are upper classman but not always, normally they have exhibited some sort of outstanding performance through athletic competition and they have proven themselves able to accomplish some feat that makes them stand out from their team.

I also like to look at coach&8217;s feedback on a player I am thinking of presenting as player of the week. They know the ins and outs of their team better than I, but in certain cases they may be overruled for an outstanding athlete who performed at the top of their game that week but doesn&8217;t necessarily have the best attitude.

There are a myriad of factors that are looked at but in the end the decision rests with me. I won&8217;t pass on the buck for something I do that displeases you, but bear in mind if you will I try to be objective and fair.

I know I haven&8217;t given a clear-cut formula on how the process works, and I am sorry but there cannot be one. However, in the sense of objectiveness and fairness I have just mentioned, I am open to suggestions from anyone who feels they know of an athlete that is an example to their team, or performs at a higher level or exhibits any trait you look for in your Player of the Week.

Brandon is the sports editor of The Demopolis Times. He can be reached by e-mail at