One of the toughest duties we have here at the Times is selecting the 2007 All-Times team. Personally, the whole process is akin to light torture, which is why one coach said it was the reason the “professionals” get paid the big bucks to do it.
Picking the best six boys volleyball players out of hundreds is a daunting task especially when there are differing points of views from coaches and when team success is factored into the equation. Talent alone won’t get you on the Times team, which is sometimes confusing.
Should we penalize or reward a player even if their teams finished near the bottom of a league or didn’t make the playoffs? Or does it hurt that he plays libero, a vital part of any team but a position that can go unnoticed by many?
Many names were thrown into the mix by coaches, but the one name that was always mentioned first was Matt Rice, a talented volleyball prospect that is rare around these parts. In fact, this was the year of the opposite hitter, as four of them (Rice, Justin Smith, Chris Brecheisen, and Todd Travis) made the team. Outside hitter Nik Tertel and setter Erik Aku rounded out the top six. Selecting a coach was also tricky. We made Deer Valley’s Lou Panzella our coach of the year over Foothill’s Dusty Collins, who was a leading candidate for the award again. Collins was able to replace five starters, including the EBAL’s MVP Billy Arnold, and repeat as NCS champions. Either way, one couldn’t go wrong. In the end, it was an exciting boys volleyball season and we look forward to next year.
–Ricardo Sanchez Jr.