Archie Bradley over Dylan Bundy for Player of the Year not an easy choice
OK, the feedback hasn’t been as negative as I thought. There have been questions about the selection but no irrational sentiments voiced so far.
Knew it was going to be an eye-opener to select Broken Arrow’s Archie Bradley instead of Owasso’s Dylan Bundy as The Oklahoman’s All-State Baseball Player of the Year.
Ryan Aber and myself did not make this selection to cause a stir, believe me. It was a tough one, and I still blame Ryan for why there will never be co-players of the year.
It stems back to the senior seasons of Keiton Page at Pawnee and Rotnei Clarke of Verdigris. Both won state championships. Clarke set the state scoring record. Incredibly tough. Ryan chose Page as the Player of the Year.
Since then, no matter what, it’s eliminated Co-Players of the Year. Though this is close to that, Page over Clarke is about the best case for the co-player honor.
I felt it last year in tennis with undefeated state champions (and clearly the two best singles players in the state) Mia Lancaster of Bishop McGuinness and Julie Labarthe of Heritage Hall. Picked Labarthe, definitely irked some but that’s OK.
So that brought us to this year. We were convinced on Bradley. Then Bundy was named the Gatorade Player of the Year. Then Bundy was named the National Player of the Year. Oy. But I’ve always viewed this as a high school award.
It’s what you did on the field/court/mat, etc. It’s not about potential. Bundy is projected to be the higher draft pick and that’s fine. And heck, it’s been great to see the genuine friendship between the two so I don’t feel there is a real rivalry.
This could have kinda been settled in April when the two teams were scheduled. It was rained out. This could have been settled at OneOK Field in Tulsa in the Class 6A state championship. Bundy didn’t pitch. Bradley did. And he pitched, maybe not his best, but the most important game of his life. He was dominant with 14 strikeouts and leading the Tigers to the state championship.
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