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All-Area teams offer publicity for young stars

“When is the All-Area team coming out?”

As the month of May arrives on the scene, it’s a popularquestion posed by local and area sports fans. They are interestedin All-Lincoln County and All-Area Teams selected by The DAILYLEADER.

The 2008 baseball and fastpitch softball seasons are almostcompleted. Fastpitch is officially over for local fastpitch girls.Bogue Chitto was eliminated Monday by East Webster.

In baseball, the Wesson Cobras in Class 2A and the FranklinCounty Bulldogs in Class 3A are in third round state playoff actionstarting Friday. Best of luck to the Cobras and Bulldogs.

Brookhaven Academy’s Cougars were eliminated Wednesday in theMPSA Class AA state baseball playoffs.

As the school year winds down, teachers and students are in thehelter-skelter mode. For many seniors, Friday is their lastofficial day at school. Others have been on a half-day schedulesince January.

Area and local softball and baseball coaches are encouraged tosubmit their final team statistics and other pertinent playerinformation to the DL’s sports department. They can use thetelephone, send a FAX. or e-mail the necessary info. Bogue Chittocoach Scott Leggett already has submitted his final softballstats.

Hopefully, the area softball and baseball Dream Teams will beselected and published by the end of May. It’s an honor to benominated and chosen to the teams. Coaches, players and parentslook forward to it.

In case you missed it, there won’t be a big, full-page spreadfor the DL’s 2008 All-Area Boys Basketball Team. The main reason isa lack of cooperation by the coaches. Many of them failed torespond to our requests for final statistics and nominations.

More remarkably, many of them didn’t bother to return phonecalls. And this came after repeated requests to the respectiveschools’ offices. It makes me wonder why the coaches arecoaching.

Do they really care about promoting their players for individualhonors in the postseason?

Ho-hum or hum-bug. Take your pick.

Like in most fields of labor, 10 percent of the people do 90percent of the work. The rest just draw a check and go home.

Personally speaking, we deeply appreciate coaches who care abouttheir players. These days, concerned coaches are rare. Coaching isnot a 9-5 job and neither is sports reporting. We respect thosefolks who are going to go the extra mile for their team and theirschool.

Often, they are overlooked and unappreciated.

Certainly, there were some talented boys basketball players inarea schools outside of Lincoln County. Coaches like Ron Kessler ofWesson and Ricky Gray of McComb Parklane Academy were more thanhappy to respond when asked to provide final statistics on theirteams and players after the season was completed.

Josh Hart, a 6-foot-5 center from Wesson, would be a solidmember of the All-Area Team. Hart has signed with Copiah-LincolnCommunity College.

Dane Hogan and Blake Brown were leaders for the ParklanePioneers. Hogan made the DL Dream Team as a junior. Hogan haselected to play football at East Mississippi Community College.

At Franklin County, junior standout Jamie Collins was a catalystin the Bulldogs’ strong finish. Taylor Washington showed potential,too.

Jefferson County, the Division 7-3A champion, advanced to thestate tournament under the guidance of Coach Marcus Walton. Seniorpost Kadon Day, senior guard Percy Turner, and junior TrellianGaines were the offensive stars for the Tigers who finished25-12.

Overall, Walton deserves to be recognized as Area Coach of theYear. Turner, who averaged 18 points per game, and Day (24 ppg)would be top choices for Area Player of the Year honors. Turner, aversatile athlete, was an all-state quarterback, too.

No doubt there are other outstanding athletes in the area whodeserve recognition, too. However, their scoring and reboundingstatistics are unavailable and unknown.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O.BOX 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mailsports@dailyleader.com