Give me heart, grit and the best kind of teammate

With the announcement of the girls track and field all-area team in Wednesday’s edition of the Daily Clarion, comes the conclusion of the spring “all-star” teams.

Up next will be the release of the Player/Athlete of the Year in each of the spring sports.

The first should be in Saturday’s edition of the Clarion.

Over the course of the last couple of weeks I have fielded emails, calls and texts regarding the athletes chosen.

So here we are…

There used to be a sports talk show on ESPN called Numbers Never Lie.

That show is now defunct, or at least I think it is.

Numbers do lie or at least in my opinion, they don’t tell the whole story.

A kids’ heart can’t be measured by a batting average, or a golf score, or a time in the mile.

Numbers also cannot indicate what kind of teammate a kid is. You can’t pick up a box score and see that the kid on the bench is the biggest fan of his teammate who replaced him in the game the inning before.

Point being, numbers are good to have, but it’s not the ultimate deciding factor.

Give me a baseball team full of Payton Boyd’s and I will beat your team more than you beat mine.

The kid did not produce the best numbers this spring (coming off a season which he had surgery), but he has heart, grit and is the epitome of the ultimate teammate.

And if you asked him what his batting average was on the season or how many RBI’s he had he probably wouldn’t tell you.

Not because he didn’t know but more because he didn’t care about his stats, he was only concenred with the team winning.

But if you ask him how many strikeouts Colton Okes had on the season he wouldn’t hesitate to give you the exact amount.

Ask Payton about the game in which he had a couple of doubles and knocked in three runs and he will instead talk about how great of a game his teammates played.

Again, the epitome of a true teammate.

Before you ask, no I was not questioned as to why Payton Boyd was named to the all-area baseball team over someone else.

He is just a prime example of someone who does a lot of the intangibles which go unnoticed for those stat geeks out there.

And then there are competitors such as Taylor Hart.

I was totally floored after watching her run for the first time and then realizing she is just a freshman.

Well let me rephrase that. The first time I watched her compete, I was in awe.

Because that is who she is, a competitor.

Again, she did not post the best times in her events, but you never had to worry about her not giving it her all.

And if you ask her she will tell you she’s her biggest critique as well.

Again, give me a track team full of athletes like Taylor, and I will find a way to beat your team more times than not!

It would also be remiss of me if I failed to mention Avery Jones-Taylor.

Sure she had the numbers as one of the most dominant 400 runners in Southern Indiana, but the young lady also showed a lot of grit and heart as she battled through a foot injury over the last month of the season.

She was already a state finalist and already signed her National Letter of Intent to continue her career at Indiana State University. But the Lady Tiger senior gutted out the final month of her season and still was able to run a personal record time while winning a regional title.

How many pro athletes do hear of doing something like this?

The list would be pretty short.

Anyway, moving forward…

I also enjoy talking to coaches and getting their input on kids.

Some coaches will give me half of their team, mostly for the aforementioned reasons. But as I tell everyone, I will never turn away information (from coaches).

Then there are some coaches who are flat out honest with me and tell me they would not select a couple of their own players (who I had thought about selecting) because they lack some of the attributes I have covered here.

These types of coaches are rare, but they are golden!

I am not always around and don’t always see what goes on in practices, bus trips, after competitions, etc. So this type of information is valuable and appreciative as well.

Anyway, that is a basic rundown of my thought process when it comes to selecting the all-area teams and players of the year.

As always, thanks for reading!

Travis David is the Daily Clarion Sports Editor and can be reached at 812-220-4843 or Follow him on Twitter @PDCprepsports and @Tdavid_21.

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