Athlete of the Year nominees looking strong

Published 12:40 am Saturday, May 15, 2010

One of my favorite things to do each year is name the Athlete of the Year. It is an initiative The Times was gracious enough to allow me to implement two years ago when I arrived in Demopolis. Now, we are in the process of naming our third Athlete of the Year.

The first two years have gone to Demopolis standouts as Jasmine Simmons and Shelby Speegle have toted the award home.

This year, the crop of nominees is no less impressive as Marengo Academy, Linden, Demopolis and John Essex have each put forth their honorees. Typically, this edition would feature another school’s nominees and next weekend’s would follow-up with yet another institution. However, since the process got started late this year, we are skipping this issue and will begin back in the Wednesday edition with Sweet Water’s nominees. That will allow us to feature A.L. Johnson and Marengo High in consecutive editions and end up naming an Athlete of the Year in the day after graduation, which has customarily been the award date.

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The first four schools have put up tremendous student-athletes and the other three are certain to do the same thing. But the best part of the process for me is not the actual selection of a winner, rather it is getting to meet and interface with all of the nominees.

The initiative is designed to highlight the pinnacle of athletic, academic and character achievement among Marengo County’s athletes. And the crop of 2010 nominees is chocked full of figures who embody those principles.

Jeremy D. Smith is the sports editor of The Demopolis Times.