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You make the call for All-WNY 2007

Who will be All-Western New York?

As always (and as with the All-WNY 50th anniversary team), The News will pick a 25-man first team. Generally, the first team consists of a QB, three RBs, two WRs, five OLs, K and Utility (basically a wild-card) on offense and four DBs, either three DLs or four LBs (or vice versa) and a P on defense.

When I say "generally," that means that rare exceptions are made (for instance, if there was a standout TE, there could be one on the team), but the emphasis in this sentence is on "rare." There will also be a second and third team as well as honorable mentions.

We are looking for a first team that consists of -- as best as we can do it -- the best 25 football players in WNY. That means if there's a player who's gotten a lot of headlines as a RB but who has also made an stellar impact at LB or DB, he might make the team on defense. When it comes to the specialty positions, often times the punter or kicker (or both) will be a great all-around player who also excelled in those special-teams positions. Just something to think about.   

It's an excruciating but enjoyable process. The News selects the team with high school football guru Dick Gallagher after consultation with coaches, officials, pollsters, and the Trench Trophy committee, among others.

Who knows. Make a good point on here and we might take it into our meeting. šŸ™‚

IMPORTANT: We are certainly looking forward to you making great points about who should be selected All-WNY. Some players will be picked over others, so comparing and contrasting is a natural part of this process. We want to hear why players should make the team. If you feel it absolutely necessary to discuss why certain players shouldn't make it, be respectful and polite, as almost all of you have been in all of your posts. Thanks very much for your feedback and enthusiasm for high school football.

-- Keith McShea

It is impossible to please everyone when it comes to picking all-star teams, and the All-WNY football team is no exception.  There are a lot of very good high school football players out there, and some, unfortunately will go unrecognized. We do not have a "No Player Left Behind Act."

It's not an easy task picking this 25-player first team. There's no set standard to follow. How do you honestly judge one offensive linemen from, say, Section VI champ Orchard Park against a senior linemen from say, Albion, which lost a first-round Consolation Bowl game?  Both are good teams and play good competition. But it's not always the size of the dog in the fight. All-star linemen (football players in general) come in all shapes and sizes.

Coaches keep statistics for all positions, including grading out linemen, but that's not an exact science. It can be very subjective.

It's also easy to look at quarterback and running back numbers, but is it a fair assessment of talent?  I know a lot of good football players who don't put up the big numbers or they "share" numbers with teammates because of the type of offense the team runs.

Looking at players who are on winning teams over players on losing teams doesn't always cut it, either. There are some darn good backs who would excel running behind offensive lines like the ones at Sweet Home and St. Francis. 

The bottom line is we need input. Let's hear from coaches, athletic directors and fans because it's impossible for us to see every school play football in Western New York. It's nice to hear from coaches about other players, athletes from other teams who they coached against. Let's hear about payers who you had to gameplan against -- the ones who had a major impact on your game, whether it was a lineman, quarterback, linebacker or kicker. 

-- Dennis Danheiser

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