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Jason Della Rosa — Honoring our athletes: All-Texomaland Broadcast is Thursday

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat
Herald Democrat

All-Texomaland 2020 will be a different view of Texoma’s star power and so to honor those shining performances through a not-so-normal year, some of the most iconic names in sports will help the Herald Democrat highlight them.

The presentation of the All-Texomaland Awards has never looked quite like this at the end of a school year which will go down in history due to its finish and provide a milestone in the lives of all of those who have been affected.

Just as the spring sport seasons — baseball, softball, golf, tennis and track — were about to heat up, the coronavirus pandemic forced the University Interscholastic League to shut everything down from the middle of March right through graduation.

Every game plan can be formulated, worked on to perfection and ready to go. Then suddenly an injury happens. A bad call or a missed penalty alters a sequence of events. The weather becomes a factor. And no matter how good that game plan was going to be, adjustments need to be made on the fly.

Those can be tough positions to handle and hopefully we’ve been able to find a way to produce a victory despite the adversity that has come our way over the past three months. The version of the All-Texomaland Banquet this area has come to know over the last couple of years was unfortunately not going to take place as scheduled when it was announced back in early February — a much simpler time which seems so far away now — along with Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith headlining the 2020 edition.

A little more than a month later, the entire sports world — not just our little corner of the high school scene — was thrown into chaos and the ramifications are being felt by athletes around the globe.

So to keep with social distancing guidelines as well as state and federal regulations, this year’s event is being brought to you with a streaming broadcast at preps.sherman.gatehouselive.com at 6 p.m. on Thursday. Just go to that website and an hour-long show will reveal the winners of the All-Texomaland teams you have seen throughout the school year in the paper and on social media.

There is nothing that can restore what the athletes who had their seasons taken away from them, especially the seniors who didn’t realize they were representing their school for the final time without even knowing it. The Pottsboro golf teams and Van Alstyne baseball team were denied a chance to return to state. A trio of Bells seniors were unable to try and win a third softball championship. The VA boys mile relay was unable to defend its Class 3A crown.

But as weird and disappointing as the ending to this school year was, we are still able to honor the performances from the back trails of the cross-country meets, to the state championship match in volleyball and a pair of state title games in football, to the region finals in both boys and girls basketball as well as standout soccer performances.

Throw in state qualifiers for powerlifting and regional qualifiers for fishing — two new sports added to the celebration this year — as well as the inclusion of individual Player of the Year Awards for those north of the Red River in conjunction with the Bryan County News, and there are still dozens of outstanding seasons to spotlight across Texoma.

It doesn’t hurt to have future Hall of Famers like Steph Curry, Drew Brees and Bill Belichick and the current Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes, as well as other standouts in their respective sports, announce our Player of the Year selections.

One thing to note about the broadcast. While Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year Awards will be announced, the individual sports’ Coaches of the Year will not be revealed on Thursday night. Those winners can be found in the Herald Democrat All-Texomaland Special Section that will be a part of this weekend’s edition of the paper with a recap of all of the winners, finalists and All-Texomaland team selections from the 2019-20 school year.

So whether it was the best season in Van Alstyne volleyball, Pottsboro football or Howe girls basketball history, a bookending of titles for the Gunter football seniors or a generational run by Whitesboro boys basketball, we are happy and honored to help celebrate another year of champions and success stories while also looking forward to doing it again in the future, no matter what it takes to make that happen.