Crook County players excluded from softball All-state team

Class 5A members of the Intermountain Conference also excluded for teams
In 2011, players on both the Crook County High School baseball and softball teams were left off the All-state ballots.
   The injustice was obvious, and angered a number of local fans. This year, the problem was supposed to be resolved — and at least as far as baseball goes, that seems to be the case. Four members of the CCHS baseball team were selected to the Class 4A All-state team.
   However, the problem has clearly not been corrected in softball. When the 2012 All-state teams were announced, several Crook County softball players were conspicuously absent.
   This is the second year now that Crook County players have been slighted, and it’s time to resolve the issue.
   Obviously, it’s possible for a team to not have any players that deserve to be on an all-state team. However, that isn’t the case here.
   In 2010, while playing at Sisters High School, Taylor Walker was named first team All-state. Walker played her junior and senior years at CCHS, and was just as impactful on the field as she was at Sisters.
   In fact, Walker was so good this year that she was named player of the year for the Intermountain Conference — a league composed primarily of Class 5A and 6A schools. For Walker to be left of the team two years in a row is a clear injustice.
   However, it isn’t just Walker who has been slighted. Jena Ovens, Miranda Smith, Kelsee Martin, and Tasha Azbill were all first team selections in the IMC. For that many players to be selected first-team all-league while competing against schools from larger classifications, it is clear that Crook County had talent.
   Baseball and softball are the only sports where this kind of problem has occurred. In every other team sport, coaches in each league are sent ballots that have included all first and second team all-league players from around the state. Baseball and softball are unique, because rather than a ballot being sent out, representatives of each league meet and vote for the All-state team.
   Clearly the system isn’t working properly. Bend, Mountain View, and Summit also did not have any players earn All-state honors. In most sports that could be explained away as most players selected to All-state teams come from teams which made deep playoff runs.
   However, that is not the case when it comes to baseball and softball. Baseball named 84 players to the Class 4A baseball All-state team, while Class 4A softball selected 76 players and Class 5A softball picked 62 players for their All-state selection.
   It appears that that Crook?County, Bend, Mountain View, and Summit, were not represented in the balloting process. That is unfair to payers from those teams, and is a problem that needs to be corrected.
   Not only do players on those teams deserve better — excluding an entire league from consideration invalidates the entire process. Those players deserve an apology, and something needs to be done to ensure that no further players suffer the same injustice.