The Chattanooga Times Free Press Sports section takes great pride in our annual Best of Preps banquet and the entire process involved in recognizing the top area high school athletes and coaches. We go to great lengths to get nominations from coaches and pick the most deserving players in each sport.
As high school sports continue to evolve and the landscape of the Tri-state area changes, the Best of Preps selection process is going to change in an effort to keep pace.
In years past, several sports had multiple teams divided and classified by geography. For example, in football there was an All-Area team, an All-North Georgia team and an All-City team, and each player selected was invited as our guest to the Best of Preps banquet.
We are changing the process so that there will be just first-, second- and occasionally third-team Best of Preps honorees, and the honorees on all of those Best of Preps teams will be our guests at the banquet. This move allows us to be more flexible in every sport and reward deserving players who may be in tougher geographical areas while still honoring the same number of athletes and inviting those selected to the banquet.
Since we are grouping the all-star teams by sport rather than area, a few teams — North Georgia softball and Tennessee girls’ soccer and boys’ and girls’ golf — normally announced in the fall will be moved to the spring to include all areas.
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...