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Koelble: Picking area's best was kind of hair-raising

March 30, 2011

Now that we have unveiled our Herald-Mail All-County athletes for the winter season, we can focus on the sprint that makes up the two-month spring season to conclude the prep athletic year.

Before you know it, we’ll be publishing our lists of top players in baseball, softball, track and field, tennis and lacrosse.

Whoosh! There’s barely time to take a collective breath of relief …. and oh my goodness, football is around the corner.

But let’s not go there yet.

From my standpoint, this past winter season covering boys basketball was pretty doggone interesting. I wrote in the preseason preview that Washington County had a good chance of sending some teams to the state tournament, which happened with South Hagerstown in Class 3A and Williamsport in Class 1A.

It also made for a headache as the season finished and the player of the year choice loomed.

I don’t think colleagues Andy Mason and Dan Kauffman had much difficulty in chairing their selections by the sports staff for players of the year in wrestling, track and field and girls basketball.

Boys basketball was a different thing.

In the past two years, I left the decision-making to the coaches. But this year those decisions were in my hands. Oh yeah, I collected opinions from coaches, but I knew it was going to be tough to pick the player of the year.

In recent weeks, I lost sleep agonizing over who it would be. My eating habits diminished and the gray hairs on my head multiplied by the hundreds. I ran thousands of pieces of information through the Herald-Mail databanks. I was hoping there would be a Jimmer Fredette or Kemba Walker who would explode from the pack in the final days of the season, but none did.

That was not making things any easier.

There was a lot of good team play this year. There were some outstanding individual performances, but in reality, the year was dominated by team-oriented success.

By now, you should have read in print or seen online that Williamsport’s Stephen Christy was named the boys basketball player of the year. There were very good players he was chosen over — Devon King of South, D.D. Dickson of North and others.

All has not been lost.

At least when I went to get a haircut in the last few days, the majority of my gray hair was still in place.

Tim Koelble is a staff writer for the Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-791-7376 or by email at:

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