Selecting an all-league team is no easy task.
After carving up the football process in the fall, five Northern Nevada sportswriters came together and reintroduced a media list for the Northern Division I-A basketball season.
I’ll eat a bit of crow on the difficulty of selecting a team. It’s not easy as by the time you think you have a list, another two or three kids pop up and the juggling continues.
After years of complaining about all-league selections and the politics and drama surrounding those choices, especially the number of kids named to such teams, we came up with a simple process.
Spearheaded by Elko Daily Free Press sports editor Martin Harris, the panel included myself, Sierra Sun sports reporter Sylas Wright, the Tahoe Daily Tribune’s Tom Lotshaw and Elko Daily Free Press reporter Blake Samanas.
The scoring went as such: 10 points for the No. 1 player on a ballot, nine for No. 2, etc. The player with the most points was selected as the Most Valuable Player.
Ballots were tallied and the those with the highest five point totals were placed on the first team. Second highest five earned second-team honors and the rest were placed on honorable mention.
As a result, we did have six girls as honorable mention.
Obviously, geography plays a part of who we view and name our teams. Nevertheless, we came up with a solid list of the best players in the league and honored them as much.
Fans, coaches and administrators will take their shots of course, but that’s part of the territory. We were just tired of having way too many kids on each team as a result of petty politics and the insane thought the MVP could not be a first-team selection because it was a another way to move kids up the list.
Despite those feelings, we know it is not perfect, but we feel it is a better representation than what has been trotted out in the past.
Transparency is also important to us. Here is my ballot, starting with the boys from No. 1 to No. 10: Nathan Klekas, Elko; Josh Watterson, Lowry; Jeff Evett, Fallon; Brian Pearson, Elko; Garrett Naveran, Lowry; Brandon Jenkins, Elko; Bernardo Macias, Dayton; Austin Fletcher, Dayton, Jared Fajman, South Tahoe; and Nick Oberriter, Truckee. My Coach of the Year selection was Chris Klekas of Elko.
The girls are as follows: Maddy Merschel, Spring Creek; Hannah Lindsay, Fallon; Desirea Danner, Elko; Shayla Butterfield, Elko; Alyssa Dendary, Lowry; Shawntel Anderson, Spring Creek; Megan McCormick, Fallon; Kylee McClellan, Lowry; Kaylee Neill, Truckee; and Ali Tedford, Fallon. I selected Lowry’s Chelsea Cabatbat as COY.
Nathan Klekas and Danner were each named MVP, respectively, while Scott Carsrud of Spring Creek and Cabatbat were the COY’s respectively.
The process wasn’t easy, and a lot of thought and debate went into each selection, especially toward the bottom of the list. Nevertheless, I expect to continue the process into the spring season for baseball and softball.
Let the debating begin.
Steve Puterski is the sports editor for the Lahontan Valley News and can be contacted at email@example.com.