Thursday, February 21, 2013
(Last modified: 2013-02-21 15:34:30)
Author: Seth Butler
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

If you can't do something right, then maybe you shouldn't do it at all.

Those are sage words of advice that could be given to all basketball coaches around the area.

As Championship Saturday faded into the rearview mirror, the accolades of All-District teams were awarded to individual players for their efforts this season.

The awards list for District 2-AAA and District 2-A girls teams were enough to make you scratch your head.

In one of the more bizarre results in a long time, the District 2-AAA coaches voted to award Seymour's Kasey Norman as the 2012-13 Player of the Year.

Not Cocke County's Allison Ball, who was District 2-AAA Tournament MVP, or Mika Wester. Not Morristown West's Christina Zimmerman or Jecca Simerly, who were a force in the paint all season long.

Not even Jefferson County's Autumn Dodson, who routinely scored over 20 points per game all season long. A handful of other players also made a case for District 2-AAA Player of the Year, including others on Norman's own team.

But if that wasn't enough to make you say, "What?!", then the District 2-A teams were announced.

To say that the Cosby Lady Eagles cruised through their eight games of play in district play was an understatement. Cosby, which hasn't lost in league play since February 2010, won its eight games by an average of 38 points this season.

So undoubtedly the state's fifth-ranked team, which has won 24 games, and returned four players who have sent the Lady Eagles to consecutive Class A sectional appearances, would be as sure as a sure thing could be to have a member of the team honored as a Player of the Year honoree.

Any of the Cosby starters would be worthy of the honor.

Instead, the wise coaches of District 2-A voted Hancock County's Harley Jessee and Washburn's Ashley Meyers as the co-Player of the Year.


While voting for individual basketball talent can be subjective as anything else, it's all but clear that the District 2-A coaches had one main objective: making sure the Lady Eagles didn't come away with any hardware.

Lady Eagles coach Richard Coggins made those feelings known after Saturday's 30-point title win over Hancock County. The win came a night after the Lady Eagles clobbered Clinch by a mere 73 points.

"I didn't have a girl get a vote for district MVP," Coggins told the Plain Talk following Saturday night's win. "I thought we got done dirty in the district meeting. We wanted to prove why tonight and last night."

It's likely the Lady Eagles got taken behind the woodshed in the voting in the All-District accolades.

Coaches are routinely not allowed to vote for their own players, meaning the other three schools in the district apparently ganged up on Cosby in the vote.

While there certainly will be grudges held against rival schools, especially with one like Cosby that has dominated the district since joining it in 2007, is it fair to hold grudges against a school or a coach, against the school's student athletes? In other words, who are supposed to be the adults in the room?

Often times the All-District accolades are used in nominating athletes for other awards, such as All-State awards, or for the kids to use themselves in the collegiate application process.

Coaches may view the All-District voting process as a menial task, or seek to secretly sabotage another school or coach in the process. However, it is an important process that recognizes the work of the athletes that have rightly deserved such awards.

Instead, three coaches of District 2-A elected to make their All-District team a joke and made themselves look ignorant in the process.

Maybe next year, they'll vote to do it correctly - or just forgo the entire process.

Seth Butler is the Sports Editor of the Newport Plain Talk. He may be reached at

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