MAHONE: There's no easy way in picking all-state team

The ballot has been filled out, and the e-mail has been sent.

After several hours, the chore of helping choose the 2013 Georgia Sportswriters Association all-state team is done.

There is one thing for sure, Georgia never has a shortage of good players. Because of that abundance of talent, picking an all-state team is never easy. Some talented, and probably deserving player will always be left off because of the deep talent pool.

When picking an all-state, and an all-county team for that matter, the goal is not to pick players because of their recruiting rating, but what they did on the field this season.

Stats aren’t the only thing when considering players for all-state teams, and neither should scholarship offers be the only factor. Both are part of the equation. For players on dominant teams, you have to realize that they usually don’t play the entire game.

As objective as we try to be when choosing players for all-state teams, sportswriters tend to lean towards players they cover on a regular basis. Keeping an open mind is the goal, but obviously you feel more comfortable with players that you see, and know have proven themselves.

Choosing an all-state team is not about going on the various online recruiting sites and picking the players that have the most stars next to their name.

At this time of year, not all players, coaches, and parents will be completely satisfied, especially if they, their son or player didn’t make the team, or the first team selection.

At my last newspaper job in the early 1990s, there was a player at an Augusta high school that didn’t make our all-state team, and he had just received a scholarship offer from Florida. Our sports editor was a Florida graduate, and he comes running out his office screaming, “How could you all have left this defensive tackle off the all-state game, Steve Spurrier is really high on him.”

The answer was quite easy, the player, who was about 6-foot-5, 270-pound, didn’t have a good season. He was being recruited more for his potential, than what he actually did on the field. The player would eventually sign with Florida on National Signing Day.

He was off the Florida roster within two years, and never panned out any where else.

Yes, this year’s all-state team, like those in the past, are filled with college prospects, who earned a spot for outstanding on-field performances.

When the team is released over the weekend, there will certainly be several players from the Southern Crescent on it.

Congratulations to all the young men for a great year.

Derrick Mahone is the sports editor of the Clayton News Daily and Henry Daily Herald newspapers, and he can be reached at dmahone@news-daily.com. On Twitter? Follow him @DerrickMahone_.