Martinez: Too often we are fit to be tied

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

Published:

 

I’ve never been a big fan of ties.

And I’m not talking about the kind you wear, even though I’m not too fond of them, either.

But I’m talking about the games that end in ties. Draws. Kissing your sister, and all that.

Ties. Don’t like them. They’re un-American, aren’t they?

We’ve just finished an exciting winter sports season that included a lot of exciting finishes, overtime games and double-overtime games.

So how do area coaches go about commemorating an exciting season like that? By selecting all-league teams that include co-players of the year, or even co-coaches of the year.

Ugh.

Take the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League, for example. That league selected six all-league teams for the winter season. Five of those teams included coaches of the year.

Only one of those five teams did not have co-coaches of the year, and that was boys swimming.

In boys swimming, Dave Shoup of Union was the coach of the year, beating out the likes of Dave Shoup of Evergreen, Dave Shoup of Heritage and Ron Heidenreich of Skyview.

I wonder if after the league voting, whether Ron Heidenreich went out for a beer with Dave Shoup of Heritage and Dave Shoup of Evergreen and discussing the conspiracy of that all-league vote.

I mean, c’mon people.

It’s a five-team league. I doubt all of those coach-of-the-year votes went 2-2-1.

And that brings us to The Columbian’s All-Region teams. We are in the middle of announcing our winter athletes of the year and All-Region teams.

In the 10 years since we began this All-Region series, only twice when selecting an athlete of the year have we decided to share the honor between two athletes.

In both previous cases, it occurred when we decided to honor a doubles team in tennis.

But in all the other sports, we made a call to single out one athlete of our athlete of the year in each sport.

Until last week, when we couldn’t find a way to separate Evergreen wrestlers Michael and Matthew Nguyen.

Both were state champions. Both were top-ranked, regional champions, district champions, county champions, Pac Coast champions.

They were teammates. They’re brothers. They’re twins.

How do you differentiate between two athletes so genetically similar?

But with the other sports, we stuck to picking an athlete of the year. One singular sensation, even if meant a tough call.

And there were tough calls in filling out All-Region teams. Making those final cuts can be excruciating.

But we pored over the stats and talked with coaches for input before making the call.

Then we stood by it.

Because that’s the way it should be. The American way.

• • •

The spring sports season began under mostly sunny skies on Friday.

Columbia River was supposed to play Battle Ground to open the season. But last week’s snow episode cost the Tigers a day of practice, leaving them one short of the WIAA-mandated number before opening the season.

So, River instead played Evergreen.

Then on Saturday, River traveled to Longview and dodged rain drops long enough to get in a win over R.A. Long.

Now Columbia River has two games under its belt, which is two more than most other baseball or softball teams.

And by the look of things, it may stay that way for a while.

The week ahead looks very soggy and windy. Good rainout weather, at least until the end of the week when things appear to improve.

But things can quickly change in the spring.

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