Posted On: 11/8/18 2:48 PM
Taking a note from fellow contributor Adam Ayalew’s “All-Met Candidate” series, we’re going to take a look at 11 guys across the state of Virginia who should compete for the coveted Gatorade State Player of the Year. While taking everything into consideration, we’re going to be looking at three categories in particular: individual production, team performance and the competition level that the programs play. We will release each candidate in alphabetical order over the next few weeks.
To get it started, we look at Landstown senior and JMU commit Mike Christmas.
Christmas has continually been one of the more productive players in the 757 since he was a freshman. His blend of size, athleticism and skill allows him to play multiple positions on the floor, making him a big time mismatch. He can shoot the three ball like a guard, but he can also rebound like a big man. He has the right go-getter and killer mindset, making it a real possibility that he’ll be a double-double guy throughout the year.
Landstown hasn’t been to a state championship since 2013, but they have a mix of veteran leadership and young talent to make the run this year. A lot of it will hinge on the production and leadership of Christmas, who’s going to have to play multiple positions and bring it every day. He’ll not only have to score and rebound at a high level, he’ll also have to make plays down the stretch. The Eagles should be one of the better public school teams in this state this year.
While some may assume that Landstown won’t play a tough schedule because they’re a public school, the Eagles are smack dab in the middle of one of the most loaded regions in the state. The VHSL Class 6 Region A features last year’s state runner up Western Branch, and have stacked lineups in Oscar Smith, Woodside, Granby, Cox, Kellam and more. Also, anyone who is from the 757 area knows that there are no easy games in the area.