This is probably one of the hardest parts of my job.
As a local, I will take up for each and every student athlete in our area. As far as I’m concerned, I think we have the best kids in the state.
But when it came time to form this year’s McAlester News-Capital All Area Girls Basketball Team, I knew I’d have to make some difficult decisions.
And I didn’t take the job lightly. I said in my introductory column when I took over as sports editor that I would treat my duties seriously.
Making this list was downright difficult. It was like trying to assemble the Avengers, but only choosing five heroes when everyone is equipped to save the day. But I had to set emotion aside and dive into the data.
Our Player of the Year selection was Kiowa’s Kye Stone. Not only did she have the most points per game and second most rebounds per game in the area, she and her team made an appearance in the Class A state tournament quarterfinals.
The first team consists of three Hartshorne Lady Miners, who combined averaged 42.4 points per game and also qualified for the Class 2A state tournament — but would have their season cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Maggie Sockey was Crowder’s floor-runner and top sharp shooter, landing her on the first team. She was backed up by fellow teammates Judah Owen and Hali Bailey, who were awarded second team.
I could go on and on about each and every player that was selected to one of our all-area teams this season.
And I could talk about those that didn’t make it as well. I will say it time and time again until I’m blue in the face, but our local athletes are special. Each and every one of them make a difference in their communities and their schools.
I see them as leaders, making impactful choices that effect everyone around them for the better.
So yes, making this list was hard. I wish I could have named every single one of our athletes. But while the decisions aren’t easy, I’d say having so many quality kids is a good problem to have.
Contact Derek Hatridge at email@example.com