Our Draft Process - Impact Player Selection
Our team draft strategy is to ensure that we balance all of the teams at each level as much as possible while taking into consideration each coach's personal tastes and objectives for team formation. Each of the three coaches at the JV level this year have several years of experience in the Sherwood program and knows the kids well, usually from a variety of sports.
While a straightforward draft approach might be effective, we conduct our team selection in two stages. In the first stage we identify two impact backs and two impact linemen per team (so this year we identified a total of six backs and six linemen) and divide those up amongst the three teams. This helps ensure a balance of the very strong impact players as well as leveling the draft process for coaches that have impact players as sons vs. those that do not. In my four years of experience this process has gone relatively smoothly and is usually worked out fairly early in the conditioning and evaluation process. The second stage of the draft is a typical serpentine-style draft where the coach 1 gets 1st and 6th pick, coach 2 gets 2nd and 5th, and coach 3 gets 3rd and 4th pick.
I said "relatively smoothly" for a reason - there are some hiccups from time to time that can create challenge. The first step in the process is identifying who the impact players are, and when coaches' sons come under consideration disagreements can ensue. Naturally when a coach's son is on the bubble - clearly not one of the top 2 or 3 players but a solid contributor that might or might not be an impact player - it is in that coach's best interest (selfishly) to have his son not be designated as impact because this will give him an extra impact pick.
This year we were able to complete the impact draft with very little debate or discussion during the conditioning / evaluation week. These top players are known quantities, we've measured their speed and seen them in action, and by allocating them early it allows the coaches to move on to reviewing other players based on position-specific needs. For example, Jim and I got two very solid offensive guards with our linemen picks so that directs me to focus on finding tackles (typically larger / slower than our guards in the Wing-T) and centers to round out our offensive line.