Column: The most difficult decision of this year’s football honors

Published 12:05 pm Thursday, December 30, 2010

The holiday season is enjoyable for many reasons: opening gifts on Christmas morning, spending time with family, an excess of food, the fresh start offered by a New Year, etc.

And for the unveiling of The Clanton Advertiser’s annual football honors.

Football is the most popular sport we cover, so who we choose for our all-area team, player of the year and coach of the year are important decisions that are not taken lightly. As is explained in the story to the right, selections are made based on a number of factors, but the choices don’t always line up neatly.

This season, for example, there were three quarterbacks—Scott Clements of Jemison, Andrew Farris of Thorsby and Matt Hamner of Maplesville—who are all more than deserving of being named first team all area at the position.

Clements missed three games with an injury or there’s no telling what kind of numbers he would have put up. He also led Jemison to its first playoff win since 2000.

Hamner, like Clements, had the kind of season that left fans wondering “what if.” Not that Hamner missed any games or underperformed in some way—instead, Hamner’s numbers would have been astronomical if he had played for four quarters in every game. Maplesville on most weeks had such a large early lead that the starters were confined to the sidelines for the entire second half.

We could have taken the easy way out and named three first-team quarterbacks, but the point of an all-anything team is to present a group of players that would make up the most ideal team. So, to stay true to the concept, we named one quarterback, and it was Farris.

Forget that the senior led Thorsby to possibly its best season ever, in some games seeming to will his team to victory, Farris would deserve the honor even if you looked at statistics alone.

Farris threw for fewer yards than both Clements and Hamner but more than made up for it with his legs, as he was the third leading rusher in the area. All told, Farris accounted for 2,539 yards and 37 touchdowns, or 230 yards and about 3.4 touchdowns per game. Obviously, Farris had to perform each week for his team to win.

All the other positions on this all-area team include talented and deserving players, but no position had the kind of logjam seen at quarterback. Making the decision even more difficult is that Clements, Farris and Hamner were all seniors.

Farris got the nod, but any of the three could quarterback my team any day.

–Dawkins is the assistant managing editor for The Clanton Advertiser.