It takes team effort to get wins

Published 1:05 am Sunday, April 12, 2009

It is customary for The Natchez Democrat’s sports staff to pick the All-Metro Team plus a Player and Coach of the Year at the end of each team sport.

Those teams honor the best and most talented players in the Miss-Lou each year.

It is important to honor the best that lace up the sneakers or strap on the helmets each year, because they deserve the accolades.

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However, it is also important to acknowledge that those players can’t win games by themselves. It takes an entire team working together to ensure victory.

Look at Pete Maravich for example. Pistol Pete became a folk hero at LSU for his amazing basketball talents.

He could score points in bushels and played with a flair and skill that was unrivaled in his day.

Maravich averaged over 44.2 points per game, which is a record that will most likely never be broken.

However, Maravich’s teams at LSU were not overly successful.

The Tigers never made the NCAA tournament in Maravich’s three seasons on the LSU varsity team, and only appeared in the NIT his senior season.

Those statistics go to show that even perhaps the greatest player in college basketball history couldn’t get his team to a successful season without some help.

The same is true with all the athletes that were picked All-Metro.

Gary Stewart couldn’t lead Vidalia’s boys basketball team to the Class 3A state finals all by himself.

He had to have help from every other player on the team.

Players like Torrey Dixon, Quan Riley, Jacob McGraw and Quartrell Thomas played just as important a role in the Vikings’ success.

Someone had to hit a shot at a key time. Somebody else had to set the screen that freed up an open shooter for a basket.

A third player had to grab a crucial rebound against a taller defender while a fourth player had to play great defense to shut down the opposing team’s best offensive weapon.

It takes all of those things to make a successful basketball team.

Some teams have that while others are lacking.

So when you look at all the names on the All-Metro team today, take a second to think about the other players on the team that made success possible.

After all, being the star is great, but sometimes it’s the players in the background that make the biggest difference.

Jeff Edwards is the sports editor for The Democrat. He can be reached at