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Recognition for spring sports athletes is long overdue

One might think it difficult, and rightly so, to choose a baseball player of the year from the more than 75 players on six teams in Chilton County.

The same choice must be made for softball player of the year.

Those decisions are never easy, but what has proven even more difficult for me is honoring one baseball player and one softball player each year while leaving out the athletes from 12 teams in four other sports that compete in the spring.

In the past, The Clanton Advertiser has not had a method of honoring tennis, soccer, golf and track athletes the same way players of the year are chosen for every other sport. That changes with this edition.

On our website, you’ll find stories about our girls player of the year for spring sports, track athlete Sade’ Archie of Thorsby, and boys players of the year, Jemison tennis doubles team Jake Long and Andrew Morton.

All three are very deserving of their honors. Archie has won four individual state championships—Thorsby’s first titles in any sport—and Morton and Long are a combined 87-5 in their two varsity seasons.

Making the success enjoyed by Archie, Long and Morton even more impressive is their youth. Archie is a sophomore, and both Long and Morton are eighth graders. Here’s guessing these athletes will be making headlines for years to come.

We’ve also included a list of players of the year for the other spring sports. It’s good to see these athletes—who are as talented as those in any other high school sport—finally get the recognition they deserve.