Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4538, email@example.com or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.
Well, our first high school fan vote of the fall got off to a rousing start.
Last week, we had almost 4,000 votes cast in The Columbian's first prep football player of the week vote.
That's good news for the popularity of high school football, and it's good news for our sponsor, Athletes Corner.
Now, last week's vote got an added boost from the Camas-Union rivalry and the power of social media.
When early totals had candidates from both schools in a tight vote, the call went out among students and fans of each program to vote, and there was a huge surge of votes before the balloting closed last Tuesday.
Some people don't like the process and call it a popularity contest. We call it a great way to get a little fan interaction — or a lot. And as we've said in the past, any athlete we nominate for this honor is deserving and the honor is in being nominated.
The winner is decided by school and community pride. So show it by getting behind your favorite player.
We don't expect the vote total to approach 4,000 votes each week, especially this week when several nominees hail from smaller schools. We are all about sharing the recognition among athletes from big schools and small schools.
And to help ensure that the popularity of football doesn't overshadow athletes in other fall sports, we have two votes each week in the fall — one for the football player of the week, and one for the fall athlete of the week for our non-football stars.
Beginning today, the first fall athlete of the week vote began.
Fans can vote on the football player of the week between Saturday and Tuesday each week, and on the fall athlete of the week between Monday and Thursday.
Fans can vote by going to The Columbian's preps page, which can be found at www.360preps.com.
So what are you doing?
Space is tight in the Monday print edition, so we'll wrap things up this week by pointing a few key events on the schedule.
• Monday is the Titan Cup, a Ryder Cup-style golf event at Camas Meadows that this year will feature Camas, Union, Columbia River and Mountain View.
• Outside of the 1A Trico League, volleyball and soccer teams will remain in non-league play with matches set mostly for Tuesday and Thursday.
• Thursday marks the first dual meets of the girls swimming season.
• Week 3 of the prep football season includes matchups between teams from the Greater St. Helens Leagues and the South Puget Sound League.