Let’s start with the obvious, picking all-star lists are hard.
No matter the level, or sport, you are going to have people upset. There are going to be people left off who many feel should be on the list, and people on the list that people don’t understand.
When it comes to all-state lists it’s even more difficult, because you are talking the best of the best from the entire state.
No one can expect perfection from a list that big, and that’s fully understandable.
People won’t be happy. People will be left out. People will be ranked too high, or not high enough.
It’s all to be expected.
However, sometimes there are things that just really stand out.
Northeast Bradford freshman Emily Susanj hit .580 this year. She had 12 doubles, five home runs and 35 RBI. But, it was on defense where she really stood out, she had zero errors. That’s right, not one error all season as a catcher.
Her numbers offensively were better than anyone that made all-state. Her defensive prowess takes her to a completely new level.
Yet, no Susanj on the all-state list.
Ok, things happen, and the NTL was hardly shortchanged this year.
The league had 10 players on all-state this season, three on first team.
But, players like Susanj clearly deserved some recognition.
And, there were a few others.
North Penn-Liberty’s Savannah Doney is a multiple-time all-state player. She was a returning all-stater and did nothing to not repeat on the team.
She hit .475 with 15 extra base hits this year, helping to anchor a new-look lineup for NP-Liberty.
She also struck out 187 batters on the mound in 127 2/3 innings.
Doney had a 2.52 ERA this year. A year ago 2.44 ERA.
Pretty much everything else for Doney was better this year. 29 more strikeouts in just 1 2/3 more innings. At the plate she hit nearly 100 points higher this year (.377 as a junior) with 5 more extra base hits.
Things change from year to year, new players step up, that happens all the time.
But, Doney was a multiple time returning all-state player, who hit nearly 100 points better, with more power this year, and similar pitching numbers with more strikeouts, and didn’t make the list this year.
Another thing that stood out in AAA was seeing Emma Adams of Athens on second team.
She has been first-team multiple times in her career. This year she had an absolutely dominant season and helped lead Athens to a share of the NTL title, their first ever NTL crown in the sport.
Five girls were selected for first team as outfielders. Adams hit for a higher average than all but two of them. She had more home runs than any of them ,and she’s an elite outfielder, one of the best gloves in the state.
The idea that all five are better than the Division-I bound Adams seems unlikely.
Things happen with all-star lists.
Kids are left out, people are disappointed.
There are other returning all-state players like Karmen Short of CV, Lindsay Moore of NEB and Jessica King of Sullivan County who also didn’t earn a spot on the team this year.
All had good years. All could have easily made it again.
But, these lists are hard to form. It is a lot of work, and no one will ever be happy.
That’s all very understandable, but there definitely are a few choices that leave you wondering.
If hitting nearly .600 with power and perfect defense doesn’t earn all-state honors, what does?
How do you make all-state a year ago and either fall of the list, or drop to a lower team despite drastically increasing your production to levels that are well above many on the list?
Adams and Doney have wrapped up their careers. Both are planning to play in college, where they likely will both shine.
Susanj has three more years of high school. She is as talented as you will see in this area. A once in a lifetime talent.
She will continue to put up mind-boggling numbers and there is no question her name will be on future all-state lists.