“All-County” talent found all across the county

Published 10:45 am Wednesday, June 19, 2013

By DREW GRANTHUM / Sports Writer

Picking the All-County Team has to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

It is hard to select a group of players to represent the best of the best of the baseball diamond, because the amount of talent in the county is almost unreal.

Think about it: Within the confines of Shelby County, we have the AHSAA Class 6A state champion, the team that held the No. 1 spot in 6A for a good portion of the season and the AISA Class AA state champion. Not to mention several teams that not only made the playoffs, but made good runs in them.

Trying to whittle down all that talent to just a few players who shine is a tough task.

Everyone on the list, whether on the actual team or on honorable mention, came with impressive stats. Everyone on the submitted had the batting average, ERA or other stat to validate their nomination.

One thing that really stuck out to me was how complimentary all the coaches were of the players on other teams. Every coach I talked to had something good to say about a variety of players, not just the ones on their team.

If that doesn’t speak volumes about the amount of talent for the game, then I’m not sure what will.

What makes it even harder is that some stats are immeasurable by numerical value.

As mentioned, there is little doubt that Fletcher Johnson is the Player of the Year, and has the stats to back up his selection, but what made Fletcher so important to his team was his ability to pick his team up when they needed it, and lead by example in his intensity for the game.

He’s not the only player like that in this county; in fact, every team appears to have that dynamic force that makes them that much better. We are in the midst of a hotbed in Shelby County, no doubt, which makes picking an all-county squad almost impossible.

Then again, that might not be a bad problem to have.