Martinez: Help us choose prep athlete of the week

Tim Martinez: High Schools

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

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Picking athletes of the week is hard.

I should know.

’ve been doing at The Columbian now for almost 11 years.

And from time to time, people have let me know that they could do a better job of it.

OK, fine. Now, you’ve got your chance.

We’re starting something new this week at The Columbian. We’re allowing fans to vote on who should be our athlete of the week.

If you go to The Columbian’s prep sports Facebook page at www.facebook.com/360preps, you’ll see some candidates for prep athlete of the week based on their performances from Jan. 2-7.

Beginning Monday, you’ll be able to vote on which athlete you think should be our athlete of the week. Voting will continue through Thursday night. We’ll announce our athlete of the week in Friday’s edition of The Columbian.

There will be some rules to consider.

First, I still get to pick the candidates. If you have a suggestion for an athlete who should be a candidate, let me know. I’ll listen. But ultimately, I’ll make the final call on our five candidates each week.

That’s because we want to spread the spotlight. We don’t want all of our candidates coming from the same schools or the same sports.

Candidates can come from any of our winter prep sports: basketball, wrestling, swimming, gymnastics and bowling. And candidates must play for schools in Clark County, Woodland and Stevenson.

Now in the fall, we had fans vote on predicted winner of high school football games. What we learned is that fans from some area schools are a bit more active online than others. Perhaps they are more computer-savvy or more students have the Facebook app on their cell phones.

So we’ll see how that plays out. We hope people will vote for the most deserving athlete, and not just athletes from their favorite school or team.

One other rule. Once an athlete has been selected our athlete of the week, he or she can’t be a candidate again until his or her sport’s state championship week.

Again, spread the wealth.

There may be more rules as we move along. This is very much an experimental exercise. We’ll all learn as we go.

Viral video

So have you heard about the video on the “flagrant” fouls in a basketball game between Connell and Highland last month?

If not, go to The Columbian’s prep sports blog to catch up. It’s an interesting story.

More on web

The Columbian writes up every high school basketball game during the winter season for our daily prep roundup in print.

But as our print space is limited, often the game report on our website, www.360preps.com, contains more quotes and information on the game.

So the next time you see one sentence on your favorite team’s game, check the web for more.

Week ahead

It was a weird week for basketball last week. The Columbian staffed four games, three involving league unbeatens.

None of those games were particularly close. The average margin of victory was almost 24 points. The closest game was 42-28 between the Skyview and Battle Ground girls.

The lopsided outcomes for the Skyview and Prairie girls were not big surprises. We expect those teams will see a lot of lopsided games going forward.

But the boys game scores were surprising.

Hopefully, we’ll see closer games this week. Here are some games to watch.

• Hockinson boys at Mark Morris, Monday. The Hawks ended Mark Morris’ string of league championships last season. The Monarchs will be out for revenge.

• Fort Vancouver girls at Columbia River, Monday. It’s the someone-is-getting-good-news game as the 0-11 Trappers meet the 0-11 Chieftains.

• Skyview boys at Union, Thursday: Union opened league play with a 60-50 win over the Storm on Dec. 13 when Skyview was still a little short-handed. Since then Skyview has won three straight league games.

• Mountain View girls at Camas, Friday. It could be a battle for second place in the 3A GSHL. And it’s also Pink Night at Camas for breast cancer awareness.

• Friday is the start of the Clark County Wrestling Championships. Union, fresh off a team title at the Pacific Coast Championship, will be looking for another as the Titans host the two-day event that will decide bragging rights in the county for wrestlers of all classifications.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538 or tim.martinez@columbian.com.