Blanchard River Buzz

A blog for rabid sports fans in the Findlay Area. Maintained by Findlay Courier sports writer Jamie Baker. The opinions expressed are my own crazed ramblings and not those of my employer the Findlay Publishing Company and its subsidiaries.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

How'd they do that...picking all-district, all-Ohio

OK Today is one of those days I’m going to let you into the behind the scenes world of sports writing. Today’s primer is about how prep sports all-district and all-state teams are selected.

In individual prep sports like golf (top 7), cross country (top 25), track & field and wrestling (both top 8) they settle it on the field, track or mat at the state tournament. In all other sports except football, and boys and girls basketball, the respective coaches’ associations pick the all-Ohio and all-district teams.

Now for the big three (boys and girls basketball and football) the Associated Press members in each district of the state selects an all-district team which is forwarded on to the state’s AP sports editor in Columbus -- Rusty Miller. Miller then selects the all-Ohio teams based on recommendations from the sports writers and broadcasters which meet to select the teams for their district.

The districts selecting AP all-district teams include the Northwest, Northeast, Northeast Inland, Southeast, Central, Southwest and East.

If you aren’t on the district board or don’t work at a newspaper that hosts one of these meetings you don’t really know what it’s all about. Luckily ever since I have worked at the newspaper, Courier sportswriter extraordinaire Dave Hanneman has been in charge of the process of picking the Northwest District teams.
In the Northwest District, here are the media outlets that pick the teams:
Celina Daily Standard
Toledo Blade
Sandusky Register
Mansfield News Journal
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune
Findlay Courier
Fremont News Messenger (New member this year)
Lima News
WNDH Radio & Defiance Crescent News share a spot (WNDH is on for football and Crescent News is on for basketball)

All of the schools in the Northwest District are divided up between the media outlets. Coaches then submit their all-district nominations to their media representative who compiles a list of nominees from their area that include a player’s height, weight, stats, all-league honors and other pertinent information. Each outlet forwards their nominees to Hanneman who put them all in a master list by Division and offensive and defensive positions.

That’s when the fun begins. This year’s district meeting is set for Monday in Findlay down in the basemen of the newspaper -- the Café Courier. They start picking the teams in order of division in the morning. Division I first, all the way down to Division VI. Division I is relatively easy, there are just 13 Division I schools in the Northwest District while in Division VI they are picking an all-district team from a pool of 46 schools. Things can get quite contentious, especially in the small-school divisions, as media members argue for players from their areas.

I’ve been told if the pool of teams in Division I shrinks much smaller they may only pick half teams in that division in the future. The kids in the small school division are the ones that get squeezed because there are so many Division VI schools in NW Ohio.

Players are voted onto the first team, second team and honorable mention AP all-district lists. It’s based on stats, contribution to their teams and how successful their teams were during the season. All factors enter into the equation.

Once the white smoke billows from The Courier chimney, usually around the time I report to work around 4 p.m., we have a Pope….errr a Northwest Ohio AP all-district team. Or as Dave Hanneman told me this week, when the steam starts to come out of my ears we’re just about through.

Once all of the all-district teams are selected, Rusty Miller hosts a conference call for all of the chairpersons of the various district boards. Each can nominate someone for the Ohio AP Mr. Football Award. Discussions take place and some player is selected as Mr. Football.

That’s it in a nutshell. And I’m glad I have no involvement in it. Any questions anyone has leave some feedback and I’ll try and answer any of them as best I can.

Findlay Courier local sports (Includes HN football preview and story on Findlay girls soccer being shut out of all-league honors)
Pay to play is now at Fremont Ross
Stories on Fremont area college signings
Diebler signs with OSU
Frye questionable for Sunday’s game
This story stinks….Bus waste victims suing Greyhound


  • At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's interesting that one person pretty much has the say whether or not a person is all-state or not. Good luck to him. We should be sending him gifts and the such from our host schools!

  • At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That's interesting. I never knew how that worked. Is there much lobbying from schools for their players?

  • At 5:35 AM, Anonymous bear4vr said…

    Just wondering what you thought about all the L-B huddlers on JJ making a mockery about the sport of wrestling...And they wonder why the are hated in and around the conference. bear4vr

  • At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It is a sham that Blaine Schmitt from Allen East was not 1st team RB in Div.5. Nearly 2300 yards rushing. Led his team to its first play-off win ever.

  • At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Blaine Schmitt rushed for 2319 yards and 20 touchdowns.


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