Stop criticizing prep players

Camden County

As someone that has been part of sports in one way or another all his life, as the owner of a sports marketing firm that has its hands in all high school sports in Georgia and as a father of a high school quarterback, I was bothered by many of the reader comments on Sunday after the paper came out with its Super 11. First of all, the person who put it together, Todd Holcomb, is someone I worked with for many years at the AJC. I have tremendous respect for him and his knowledge of the game of football. Secondly, the AJC’s Super 11 has become an annual institution, but it does not pretend to call these 11 kids the best in the state. It is part of what newspapers have been doing for years, a way to pinpoint 11 of the best players in the state. Should there be a Super 111? No, that wouldn’t make any sense just as it makes no sense to criticize these high school players. Rip a 17-year old? C’mon.

Many of these players I have seen in person and talked to, and one, Eddie Printz, I coached when he was 8-years old. All of them are quite deserving as well as other players across the state. But we all must put this into perspective and remember these are young men who haven’t yet graced a college campus and they certainly shouldn’t be criticized in blogs and vents.

My son is a starting quarterback at a Class AAAAAA school and I want him to do well. He wants to play in college and I am certainly pulling for him, but I am also pulling for all these other players. We went out to see Roswell and Alpharetta scrimmage on Friday night and I rooted for both quarterbacks, Roswell’s Ryan Monty and Alpharetta’s Joshua Dobbs, having either coached them or watched my son played against them over the years. Unless either is playing Centennial, I want both quarterbacks to tear it up this season and get what they want when moving to the next level. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and remember high school football is one of the few pastimes left that makes Friday nights really special. Let’s take it easy on these kids. They’re just kids, and as adults, we should know better.

Rosenberg is the president of Score Atlanta and sports director of GPB Sports.

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