I received a phone message this week complimenting last week’s Evening Sun basketball all-star edition. The caller then asked when we would be publishing our wrestling all-stars. No name or return phone number was given, just a mildly expressed pledge by the caller that he would try to reach me another time.
For those who have followed our sports coverage the past 15 years – and even the last 30 years for that matter – we have put out a basketball postseason all-star edition every year with the exception of maybe one or two years. As for wrestling, we have released maybe two wrestling all-star editions (compiled by yours truly) and none over the past 10 years.
Admittedly, I have no cut-and-dried reason to exclude wrestlers from their own all-star team. However, the criteria for evaluating some wrestlers in the same weight class is often as difficult as memorizing the mathematical formula for a quarterback passer rating.
In the past, we used a pyramid system for evaluating a wrestler’s season with a place finish in the most important tournaments currying the most favor. Using this criteria, the best place finish in the New York State Tournament was criterion one, next was the best place finish at the sectional tournament, and third, the best place finish at the class tournament. At this point, I hope we would not need to dig any deeper to find our first-team wrestling all-star.
Using this system was not without anomalies, though. What about head-to-head competition during the regular season? Here are two prime examples of what makes selecting a wrestling all-star team so difficult: