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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

Your view: In response

Friday, December 8, 2006

As Southeast Missouri 's representative for class 2 of the Missouri State Soccer Coaches Association, I am the person charged with coordinating the selection of the class 2 all-region soccer team. Before I attempt to clarify the selection process, let me give you a little history. When I began coaching soccer at Notre Dame Regional High School in 1992, there was no soccer conference in our area, and no true all-state team. At that time the St. Louis area coaches selected what was called the Eastern Missouri all-state team. There was very little opportunity for players in our area to gain recognition. The first step toward providing a framework for post-season recognition came when local coaches led by Tom Doyle of Cape Central formed the Southeast Mo Soccer Conference.

A couple of years later, Chris Miller put forth great efforts to establish the Missouri State High School Soccer Coaches Association. The Association has survived and grown due primarily to the tireless efforts of Coach Miller. From the beginning, I have represented Southeast Missouri on the board of the association. I have always started the process of selecting the all-state team by having the coaches in our district select an all-district team. This year the all-district team selection was coordinated by Coach Long.

I can tell you that even selecting an all-district team is not as straight forward as one might expect. I find it especially frustrating that very few of the coaches that vote actually take the time to watch the other teams in the district play. A couple of years ago my team beat another district team 8-0 in the tournament with our substitutes scoring 4 of the goals, yet that coach voted that he had the best forward, the best midfielder, the best defender and the best goalie in the district. None the less, I have always used the votes of our coaches as the guide for selection to the all-region team.

The southeast all-region team is comprised of players from districts 1 & 2. This year I made multiple calls to each school in district 2 to seek their input. Because I had a difficult time getting response from district two, and district 1 had a very good year, the all-region team had more players from our district.

Now I will address Mr. Moore's complaints. Why two goalies? Both Scott Droddy and Ryan Bass are included because I believe that they are not only each deserving of this award, but that both are also among the best in the state. We played Sikeston 4 times this year, and I know that Scott Droddy is excellent. He made an incredible number of saves this season. On the other hand, Ryan Bass led the entire state in the most important stats for a Goalie. He had 17 shutouts and allowed but seven goals in 22 plus games, for a goals-against average of less than 0.33 per game. The question is: how do you choose one over the other. The answer is simple. Give them both the recognition that they deserve.

My directions from the association were to select between 11 and 16 players. This is evidently a problem for your sports writer, Chris Moore as he believes that a team for soccer is only 11. I concede that Mr. Moore is probably much smarter than I am, but my soccer team has always been more than 11 players. I played 23 players in every game of the post season. I consider each a valuable member of our team. Finally, Mr. Moore might want to check his count as there were but 15 players selected and not 19 as he complained.

Respectfully, Brad Wittenborn Cape Notre Dame