Photo: PrepDig

Posted On: 11/5/20 3:15 PM

Like many things, Covid-19 has played a part in postseason awards in Kansas City. A few weeks back we shared information about the Evelyn Gates Award. This award is given to the top volleyball player in the Kansas City Metro, covering both sides of the state line. They posted on their website recently they will not give out the award in 2020, the first time it will not be handed out since its inception in 2004. Their post is below.

Unfortunately, due to the on-going impact of COVID-19, we’ve decided not to award the honor in traditional fashion this year.  While some high schools are actively competing, others have been sidelined.  We feel this does not allow for a fair and equitable evaluation of all eligible players.”

We had the opportunity to get quotes from a handful of coaches on their thoughts surrounding this decision. While they all agree it’s a different year, they also say the athletes have worked hard for this type of recognition. Here are some of the thoughts from some area coaches in Missouri and Kansas. In full transparency, many coaches had no problem putting their names to their quotes, however, we have decided to remove names. We will use MC and KC to distinguish between Missouri and Kansas Coaches. 

“It’s unfortunate. I wholeheartedly believe the handful of athletes who would have been finalists for this award played most if not all of their seasons.” – MC

“I think the right thing to do is to recognize and celebrate the athletes who did play. I know it’s not the same but if a girl or two  who were recognized as top players entering the season got injured, we would still give out the award.” – MC

“It’s kind of a smack in the face to the coaches. It’s like they don’t trust us as the coaches to make a reasonable choice based on the candidates and the available information”. – MC

“Has it ever been fair and equitable when you take into consideration numerous factors such as public vs. private, club players vs. non-club players, urban vs. suburbs, etc.?” – KC

“The girls deserve the opportunity to be nominated. The girls deserve the opportunity to be named a finalist. A girl deserves to have her name etched on that trophy based on their season this year.” – KC

“We managed to still select all-conference teams and will have all-state teams. I think it’s reasonable to still figure out who the best players in the area were this season.” – KC