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Fall All-Area section...

Today we released our 2008 Fall All-Area Teams section, which can be viewed here.

We call these "special sections," and we get to do four per year (reviews for the fall, winter and spring seasons, plus a football preview section in late August). These inserts are really a blast for us, outside of the unenviable task of settling on our Player of the Year and Coach of the Year selections. Sure, some are no-brainers, such as Clarke County's Ben Veilleux, who was our Cross Country Runner of the Year. But others ... not so much.

Picking our top players and coaches usually takes us several weeks. I rely mostly on my staff since they are the ones out there covering games and talking to players, coaches and people in the community. Each of my writers have certain schools they cover, but that doesn't mean much with our newspaper covering 10 high schools in the area.

We struggled with our Football Coach of the Year, for instance. We loved the job Heath Gilbert did at Skyline, but his team narrowly missed the playoffs. We applauded Tony Rayburn turning Handley into a 10-win team after losing J.J. Dorsey, but we also decided that he had our Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, so we moved on. We settled on Clarke County's Chris Parker because of the injury problems he had at QB. Changing an offensive scheme and rotating three quarterbacks -- all in their first years as starters at the position -- was a gutsy move.

Anyway, click on the link and check out our seven stories on our eight award winners. I'll also list them in this post, and comment on where you think we messed up. We can handle it.

FOOTBALL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR -- Jeremiah Wilson, Handley
FOOTBALL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR -- Leonard Grant, Handley
FOOTBALL COACH OF THE YEAR -- Chris Parker, Clarke County
VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR -- Lauren Carter, Sherando
VOLLEYBALL COACH OF THE YEAR -- Suzanne Mathias, Strasburg
GOLFER OF THE YEAR -- Casey Thompson, Sherando
CROSS COUNTRY RUNNER OF THE YEAR -- Ben Veilleux, Clarke County
CROSS COUNTRY RUNNER OF THE YEAR -- Sophia Holmes, Clarke County

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