In a controversial decision, many high school athletic districts and regions around the state are not naming postseason all-star teams this school year.
The loss of those postseason accolades is being felt in nearby Fauquier County, where Class 4 Region C opted out in a close vote and the Northwestern District did the same, leaving many coaches perturbed.
"It's truly a disservice to the players," said Fauquier High volleyball coach Diana Story. "We're lucky to have a season. We are very blessed by that, but we are having a season," she said pointedly. "It's not fair to these athletes who are working day in and day out for those accolades.”
Many districts were influenced by the Virginia High School League’s decision not to name all-state teams since nearly 20% of the 313-school membership did not play winter sports due to pandemic concerns.
“It’s just not equitable to have a true all-state team when so many kids are not participating,” said VHSL official Mike McCall.
That argument does not resonate with Fauquier girls basketball coach Brian Foddrell, who feels deprived after his Falcons won their first district championship since 1972.
"We went ahead and played a district, region and state championship. So, everything that comes with it should be in one bundle. We shouldn't omit those things,” Foddrell said.
Prince William picks all-stars
In Prince William County, the Class 6 Cedar Run and Cardinal districts picked postseason teams in basketball, as did the Commonwealth District in Stafford County.
But those in Class 6 Region B did not select an all-region team, which bothers Potomac boys coach Keith Honore, whose squad won the region title lost in the Class championship.
“COVID has taken so much away from our kids. They’ve had to play with masks on and without fans. I don’t think more should be taken away, but we should give them as much as we can,” said Honore.
Added Honore, “I don’t think there was malice. I just think it was a bad decision and could have been thought out a little more. It’s not too late to go back and do what’s right. The consensus of the coaches in Region 6B is that we want an all-region team.”
Honore said the Virginia High School Coaches Association (VHSCA) is selecting an all-state team.
Prince William schools will also name all-district teams for the current fall and spring sports.
‘Colleges want to see personal achievements’
Fauquier’s Foddrell probably would have been Coach of the Year and at least three players honored, including his daughter who is hopeful of NCAA Division I athletic opportunities.
"Colleges want to see the personal achievements. From a resume standpoint, it hurts the kids,” said Foddrell. "Those are things kids can't get back. They have worked hard to get to a point where they could be named all district or all-region.”
Story doesn’t think teams playing should be penalized. "Why are you affecting my players because of a school district that decided not to play? If you decide not to play then you do not get the accolades."