Christmas comes at different times throughout the year.
And there were a few such nights in the fall of 2014, leading up to Thursday’s All-Middle Georgia football teams, a present of sorts from a Telegraph panel.
There were surprises and revelations, individually and team-wise, with more than one or two debate topics each Saturday.
And there’s always discussion on things like polls and teams.
The process of selecting an area or state team is difficult for two reasons: the procedure akin to dental work of getting information from all the teams, and the huge number of candidates.
The second item inspires quite the “holy cow.”
And there’s hoping that more stats than not are remotely accurate.
There are no doubt arguments that can be made for and against all sorts of selections, and one can be both right and wrong in those arguments.
One check mark against many disagreements is based simply on objectivity. Not everybody on your team is better than many players from others. Ditto for players on winning teams and less successful teams. Not everybody on big-school teams is better than some on small-school teams.
Another one is that few people actually see teams other than their own or pay much attention to opponents. And even then, a player may not have a great, attention-getting game, and that gets remembered more than the body of work.
Yet another is relying solely on stats, for a variety of reasons. An example is in the secondary. Teams were wise enough to throw away from such familiar players as Darion Anderson and Marquez Callaway and Tyrique McGhee, and players in front of them may have made more plays.
On the other hand, there are just that many good players who had noteworthy years, and arguments can be made for scores of kids in 2014.
The past two seasons, this set of eyes, for example, has seen 23 of the first-team players, 11 second-teamers and 16 third-teamers, as well as dozens of those honorably mentioned.
Not every player had a huge game, not every player may have done much to stand out on that particular night.
So there’s a little faith involved when looking at a player’s overall stats, the competition, and performance in other games.
We can dance around and hammer out this game and that performance, and a team’s success. And make no mistake, there is anguish and second-guessing in the process.
Every argument for one player is countered by an argument against another. It’s like replay: is there enough clear evidence to make a change?
Then you sit back one last time and take a look.
Sure, there’s swapping here and there one could do, but I’ll tell you, you could put this first team against this second team and have a whale of a game.
Frankly, there are a few dozen kids on that honorable mention list who could step in for a first-, second- or third-teamer and the difference would be negligible.
One thing that stands out sets up for a mess in a year: there are so many underclassmen on the top three teams, and scores on the list of honorable mentions. Next year’s headache will start soon.
The decision on coach of the year was as easy as it was difficult.
Back in August, nobody hallucinated that Jones County would make many strides from being a 5-5 wing-T team in a region that had one quickly-growing program (Houston County) and two established programs (Northside and Warner Robins) plus some decent teams from Augusta.
The conversation about Jones County beating Northside never happened before the season started.
And here we are, Jones County beating Northside and being one play away from the semifinals and quite possibly a trip to the state championship.
The debates about who got beat in the playoffs misses the point about who didn’t get beat, and Northside didn’t.
The fact is that head coach Kevin Kinsler and his staff did a magnificent job, from the adjustments of a sophomore quarterback suddenly heaved into a starting spot to injuries in different areas to developing depth all over.
Justin Rogers’s high-pitched reaction -- his voice will go up an octave or two -- at earning the coach honor was genuine, as was his surprise at getting the nod over Kinsler.
But therein lies the difference. Northside did was Northside does: be a contender for a state championship. Years past, a break here and there has kept the Eagles from getting a ring, but they’re always in the hunt, and this year, the dream came true.
Nobody would have thought the “1” in Northside’s record would come from Jones County. None of us could have imagined thinking how close we were to an Eagles-Greyhounds rematch in the Dome.
Make no mistake, the Eagles were hoping and praying for that game. As it was, beating Mays sufficed mighty well.
Region 2-AAAAA is going to be an absolute monster in 2015. It’ll be the Year of Revenge: Northside against Jones County, Houston County against Northside, Jones County against Northside, and Warner Robins against each one.
Oops. Yeah, the Augusta schools have scores to settle -- or try too -- with all four.
Christmas may be over, but there’s a nice present in the thought that this starts all over in about eight months.
Contact Michael A. Lough at 744-4626 or firstname.lastname@example.org