No question about player of the year

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Much has been made over the selection of Davin Palmer as the Shelby County Reporter Player of Year.

I agree with our newspaper&8217;s selection of Palmer for this honor, which is based on athletic performance on the football field, not grades, personality or perceived reputation.

Palmer was suspended for the final games of the 2006 football season to serve out a punishment for braking team rules set down by his coach.

Coach Wade Waldrop said Palmer was still a member of the football team and that he would be eligible to play basketball later this year.

The coach also recommended Palmer for All-County honors.

That was enough for me. Palmer was hands-down the best football player in the county.

He paid dearly for whatever he did to get in his coach&8217;s doghouse &8212; he was unable to help his team win a state title, which I feel the Hornets might have won with Palmer in the backfield.

I&8217;ve heard it said of certain football players that they possess such superior talent that they tip the field in favor of their respective teams. I feel that in high school football, Davin Palmer is one of those players.

There are awards for people with good grades including scholarships, national honor societies, and academic awards. There are such awards for people who do well in band and art.

There are awards for people who do good things such as Citizen of the Year, Good Samaritan, Brother&8217;s Keeper and on and on.

Shelby County Reporter Player of the Year is recognition an athlete earns on the football field by his game performance. If Palmer&8217;s off-the-field actions weren&8217;t severe enough for him to be kicked off the team, they shouldn&8217;t warrant exclusion from Player of the Year honors.

The criteria used to select the Player of the Year this season was the same criteria used in each previous year. To change that criteria this year, based solely on a whirlwind of speculation and unconfirmed reports, would be unfair and irresponsible.

Let Palmer have his day. Maybe he learned a lesson from his coach&8217;s punishment for breaking whatever team rule he broke. You never know, one day he may also win an award for good deeds.

Were there other talented high school football players in Shelby County worthy of consideration for this recognition? Certainly.

Might there also be off-the-field activities that could bring their consideration into question? Perhaps.

Regardless of the response to either of these questions, Davin Palmer was Shelby County&8217;s best football player in 2006