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News / Sports / Prep Sports

Tim Martinez: Awards ceremony means accelerated All-Region timeline

High School Sports

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published: May 20, 2024, 7:49pm

This week, as we’ve done for more than two decades, The Columbian will begin honored the All-Region athletes for the spring sports season.

But this year, this will be a little different.

Normally, we let the high school sports season to end, make our All-Region selections, do interviews and write the stories. Those stories would start to be published the second week in June and the series would conclude by Father’s Day.

But this year, for the first time, The Columbian is hosting a year-end celebration to honor the All-Region honorees for the 2023-24 school year on Wednesday, June 5 at Kiggins Theatre.

That put everything on a faster track, as spring sports athletes would need to know if they were selected to an All-Region team and thereby be eligible to attend the year-end celebration.

This year, the All-Region stories will begin running this week, starting first in Wednesday’s edition of The Columbian with baseball. Softball, boys soccer and golf will follow. Track and field and tennis will publish next week.

This accelerated timeline has vastly changed the process by which we select our outstanding athletes in various sports.

Normally, with “team sports” like baseball, softball and soccer, we wait until all area leagues send in their all-league teams. From those all-league teams, we created a ballot of the best players in the area, and we send that ballot to area coaches for their input.

But this year, we could not send out a ballot to coaches as we still have not received the all-league teams from every league in our coverage area. They have been trickling in, slowly however.

We had to reach out to coaches this spring and ask for their feedback, almost blindly. It’s a lot easier to go down a list of names and remember players that you’ve seen than just to remember a name off the top of your head.

Coaches we heard from did their best. And from that feedback, we made our selections. Those selections in baseball, fastpitch softball and boys soccer will be announced this week.

Normally, those sports are saved for last in our series run. But we had to move them to the front of the series, so that we could create a window of time that would allow results from state championship events to finalize the teams for golf, tennis and track and field.

Remember athletes. If you are selected to a Columbian All-Region team, you are eligible to attend our year-end celebration on June 5 free of charge. Just be sure to register at The Columbian events page.

We will do our best to notify schools of which athletes have been selected to All-Region teams as quickly as possible, so attendees can RSVP.

Everything with this year-end celebration is new. We hope there are no mixups or mistakes.

But ultimately, we hope that this extra work will be worthwhile with an opportunity to celebrate the area’s outstanding athletes in person on June 5 at the Kiggins Theater.