The Times West Virginian

January 18, 2014

COLUMN: Introducing player of the week voting

By Mike DeFabo
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Like America? Then you’ll love what we’ve got planned for the Times West Virginian high school player of the week.

Up until now, sports reporter Matt Welch and I would get together at the end of every week and look at all of the standout performances. The problem we had was that there were simply too many to choose from.

Let me give you an example. During a week in October, East Fairmont’s Jake Delaney passed for over 450 yards and three touchdowns in a loss to Preston. Fairmont Senior’s Gabi Mascaro netted a hat trick in a 10-0 win over Tyler Consolidated. And North Marion’s Cassady Rodriguez and Madison Haught scored two goals each in a 4-3 win over Lewis County.

But after much deliberation — and a small disagreement— we went with Polar Bears running back Noah Harmon after he rushed for 136 yards and three touchdowns on his 18th birthday to eclipse the 1,000-yard plateau.

You can see our dilemma.

Starting today, we’re going to do things democratically.

After the Friday night games, Matt and I will select three nominees. As always, we will do our best to include athletes from all sports and schools in our coverage area.

To check out this week’s nominees and to vote, simply visit our website, www.timeswv .com, and click on the “Player of the Week” tab from the blue menu bar. Or go to the page directly at www.timeswv .com/playeroftheweek.

We will also be posting the link each week on our Twitter (@MikeDeFaboTWV, @MattWelch_TWV, @EGallagherTWV), Instagram (@TimesWVSports) and Facebook accounts. If you aren’t following us already, it’s a great place to find scores, stories and photos— not to mention our selfies and pictures of things we eat.

Polls close at 7 p.m. Sundays. As always, winners will be announced in Monday’s newspaper and on our Instagram account.

At this point, I can anticipate a couple questions, so I’ll attempt to answer them now.

Q: Won’t people just sit on their computers and vote hundreds— or millions(!)— of times?

A: The website is set up so that each computer or smart phone can only vote one time.

Q: Can a player be nominated more than once?

A: Athletes who do not win are still eligible to be candidates in future weeks. Once an athlete wins, he or she will not be nominated again so that others get a chance to be recognized. This is the general rule, but if a previous winner does something extraordinary— such as scoring 50 points in a playoff game— we will consider nominating them a second time.

We are very excited about this new feature. We think it will be a good way to recognize even more athletes and create a little bit of a friendly rivalry between schools.

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Email Mike DeFabo at mdefabo@timeswv.com or follow him on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.