Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Cotey: Wrestling with Player of Year decisions is never easy

Every year since forever, the Times prep writers gather at some exotic locale known for its local flavor like Bennigan's or Applebee's to fight, argue and insult each other over who belongs on the exclusive all-Suncoast football team.

And as always, it ended with smiles, laughter and a big group hug.

Okay, fine. No group hug. Or laughter.

Sigh.

Or smiles.

Here's some observations from this year's meeting:

1. I hate co-Players of the Year. No one argues more fervently against them every year than I do.

But this year?

It just seemed to make sense.

a.) Plant won state.

b.) Aaron Murray had a record-setting year, and even missing all the games he did, still led all of Tampa Bay in touchdowns.

c.) Orson Charles was dynamic and with Murray out really evolved into an offensive leader on the area's best offensive team.

d.) No one had a quarter to break the tie between the two. Hey, times are tough in the newspaper business.

2. If Murray and Charles had somehow offset each other, and there was some debate they might, Chamberlain quarterback Dontae Aycock was a favorite to grab Player of the Year honors.

3. I like real bacon on my salad. Mmm.

4. We actually held the vote for Defensive Player of the Year at halftime of the season opener between Plant and Armwood. Kidding.

Kind of.

But not really.

5. State championships really end up clinching awards for people. We met two weeks before the state final, and at the time the Coach of the Year finalists were Plant's Robert Weiner, Pasco's Tom McHugh and either St. Petersburg's Joe Fabrizio or Largo's Rick Rodriguez, whom I argued for.

6. Hillsborough was the dominant county this year, so much so we almost let staff writers Eduardo Encina and Keith Niebuhr pick the whole team. The county just steamrolled the others when it came to team selections.

Hillsborough had 15 first-team selections. Pasco had seven. Pinellas had six.

7. Here's how the debate for the defensive line, with Giddins not included because he was POY, went: "Theodore 'Man-Man' Jackson, Demonte McAllister, Alton Bailey, Dontavious Pyron.''

Fair enough.

8. Playing for Wharton meant Jairus Jones toiled in relative obscurity this year, but I thought he was the best all-around player I saw all season. And I was ready to take my butter knife to the voters had they not agreed to put him on first team.

9. I think if you put the first team up against the second team, it'd be a pretty close game. Something like 20-19 at the half before Lindsey Lamar broke a long touchdown run and Aycock scored two shorter ones to make it a 48-26 final.

10. It's never too early to start predicting next year's all-Suncoast stars.

I think the Player of the Year comes from this group: Largo's Sean Holte, Alonso's C.J. Bennett, Jefferson's Quentin Williams, Tampa Bay Tech's Maurice Hagens, Tampa Catholic's Christian Green, Lakewood's Bernard Reedy and Gulf's Adrian "Bubba" Golden.

My early pick: Holte or Williams.

Defensively, it's more clear: Plant's Mike Mirabella or Armwood's Jackson.

I like Man-Man, whom I thought almost could have been the pick this year.

John C. Cotey can be reached at johncotey@gmail.com

Cotey: Wrestling with Player of Year decisions is never easy 12/24/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 29, 2008 3:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends

    Bucs

    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

  2. Bucs' annual Women of RED preseason party attracts nearly 2,000

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Theresa Jones is primarily a college football fan, but she wanted to get a taste of the Bucs. So the 46-year-old Tampa resident bought a ticket for the team's Women of RED Ultimate Football Party at Raymond James Stadium on Friday.

    Lee White of Seminole tries on a helmet at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers female fans descended upon Raymond James Stadium for the ultimate football party, the 2017 Women of RED: The Takeover, supported by Moffitt Cancer Center. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times

  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 1:10 Sunday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Mariners

    1:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Blake Snell
  4. Bucs' Ali Marpet: Move to center could pay off big

    Bucs

    TAMPA — No player works as closely with Jameis Winston as the center. Only those two touch the ball on every play. Together they make — if you will — snap judgements about defensive alignments.

     Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ali Marpet #74 warm up prior to preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805
  5. Inside the Rays continuing historically bad slump

    Blogs

    The numbers tell the story of the Rays inexplicable ongoing offensive slump, and the words detail how tough it has been to deal with.