Baxter’s Blitz

Region wins are what matter

scvarsity@ sc.rr.comOctober 23, 2013 

Columnist for Midlandspreps.com, Jim Baxter.

KIM KIM FOSTER-TOBIN — kkfoster@thestate.com Buy Photo

Jim Baxter answers your high school football questions:

Question: Both Lexington and White Knoll are winning this season. Which team has the best chance in the playoffs?

Answer: There still are three weeks of region play to go, so it is difficult to say who is going to be getting automatic bids in the 4A regions. Lexington and Dutch Fork are unbeaten in the region. Lexington has an early edge with a solid win over Dutch Fork. This region should end up with Dutch Fork winning it, Lexington in second, and North Augusta third. White Knoll (6-2) has played two teams with winning records — and lost by a total of 46 points to them. White Knoll could finish with two region wins, which will not get them into the playoffs. Lexington is playing well but might have a tough time making a deep playoff run.

Question: Please explain the selection for Mr. Football. How they could leave off a player such as Gaffney’s Shaq Davidson?

Answer: Coaches get the nomination form when the packets for the North-South game go out. It is up to each coach to nominate their player and paint a glowing picture of that player. Things such as character, academics and Division I offers are looked at in addition to prowess on the field.

The nominees are then given to individuals on a committee consisting of retired coaches who served actively in the coaches’ association. They assign point value to the nominees and they gut the list to no fewer than four and no more than eight finalists.

I, too, am baffled why neither Davidson nor Byrnes quarterback Shuler Bentley was on the list. Could a player be blackballed in this process? I don’t think he could be by all seven members on the committee. I do think the process needs to be looked at, however.

Question: You wrote about Shrine Bowl misses earlier. Which players from the Midlands could be in the other all star game, the North-South All-Star game in Myrtle Beach?

Answer: Spring Valley’s John Miller and Josh Harlan are strong candidates. I like Fairfield Central’s Deandre Belton. Dutch Fork quarterback Derek Olenchuk could be a solid pick for the South, as would Lexington’s Will Hunter.

Keenan athlete Peter Esaw would be a good pick, as would White Knoll offensive lineman Christian Taylor.

There are others. Email me at scvarsity@sc.rr.com, and I’ll give you a more comprehensive list.

Join me at 8 tonight at scvarsity.com

for our first broadcast of The South Carolina High School Blitz. This live show will have coach interviews, comprehensive coverage of action in the state and your calls.

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