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Time of the year to debate the all-state process

This is always an interesting time of the year.

It is between seasons and as I’m trying to prepare myself for the long winter that lies ahead, there is still plenty of stuff to wrap up from the fall.

Every couple of days it seems like a list of new all-state awards comes across my desk. And it is always kind of neat to take a look at how the voting went. I anticipate seeing which local athletes are honored by coaches from around the state, but also those that don’t quite make the cut.

Of course I get to see the locals a lot more than the competition, so I might be a little more apt to give them a higher ranking than the coaches that see them only once or twice.

Last year, in the soccer all-states for instance, the region was represented with 15 selections — which is an all-time high since I’ve been at the paper. But this year it dropped to just seven, and there were definitely a few that deserved to be on it.

And I don’t know the circumstances behind the players not appearing on the all-state squads. The original ballots and voting results are not made public. All I get to see is what the final results are for the ones who made it. Some of the names to follow may not have even been nominated.

But nevertheless, I fully expected at least a couple others to be appearing in today’s story about soccer all-states.

Mascenic senior Nikolay Brovin definitely deserved at least some sort of recognition. For much of the season, he carried the Vikings’ offense. His goal totals should of been enough to get him an honorable mention selection in Division III, if not second team.

The list of deserving candidates, at least in my mind, stretches to a few ConVal boys players, like junior Riley Henry or senior David Selmer, and there is little doubt that senior goalie Harrison LeFlem would have been securely entrenched if not for missing a few games.

While it was a bit of a down year for the Wilton-Lyndeborough boys, players like James Edmunds, Mark Davidson and Taylor Roche should have at least been D-IV considerations.

On the girls side, ConVal senior Caroline Trowbridge, Conant senior Stephanie Simoneau and WLC senior Andrea Heck would have received my votes.

And I’m also sure I am missing a few names as well.

Last week, when the girls volleyball list of all-states for Division III came out, Mascenic was represented with a pair of players, and Missy Salo won coach of the year. But I think there definitely could have been room for one more, like junior Elizabeth Martel.

There were also no inclusions from WLC or ConVal and at least one from each would have been nice, especially with the Warriors making the playoffs and the Cougars improving so much.

And when I print the field hockey all-state teams next week, I’m sure there will be a few that should have been on the list as well.

Same will probably go for football when the Division III all-state teams are released later this month.

In many ways, I feel the all-state system is a popularity contest. It doesn’t always come down to what the actual athlete did over the course of the season, but more of how the season finished for the team.

In the past, I have had conversations with coaches about how they view the all-state format. Some will only vote for players they have seen, which is not fair to some degree, but it is also not fair to vote for someone based on some statistics on a page.

I wish I had a better solution to the issue, but with so many teams in the state and only 10 to 12 on each program’s schedule, there is no way for every coach to have the ability to see each all-state nominee compete.

So for now, like it has been for so long, this is the way it must go. It’s just unfortunate for those deserving athletes who are left off.

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