Like menu options at a fastfood restaurant, this years Rome News-Tribune Players of the Year come in three sizes: Small, medium and large.
Rome Highs Tony Woods, at 6-foot-11, stands at one end of the spectrum, and Coosas 5-foot-3 Robyn Foster stands at the other.
Serving as a buffer between the two extremes is Models Kiara Smith, the 5-foot-9 shooting guard who today earns her third straight Player of the Year award.
Together, this trio of seniors not only represents three different height demographics, but also represents the cream of the Greater Rome crop.
The threesome combined for 1,475 points and 528 rebounds this season while leading each of their respective teams to the state tournament.
Woods, a Wake Forest signee, helped steer the Rome boys to the quarterfinals of the Class AAAA tourney, and Foster did the same for the Coosa girls, who reached the Elite Eight in Class AA for the first time in the programs history.
At Model, Smith had a starring role in helping the Lady Devils win their second straight 7-AA title and advance to the Sweet 16 of the AA tournament.
All three players achieved memorable feats during their senior seasons Foster became Coosas all-time leading female scorer, while Smith and Woods were each finalists for McDonalds All-American honors.
Smith was the highest scorer among the trio. The Tennessee-Chattanooga signee averaged 19 points and 6.3 rebounds this season to complete her Player of the Year three-peat.
Its exciting (and) its a big honor, said Smith of the POY trifecta. I feel like I have improved each season, and playing AAU ball has helped me a lot.
Smith won the first of her three Player of the Year award as a sophomore at Rome High before transferring to Model, where she tacked on two more.
This year, she led the Lady Devils in points (571), rebounds (189) and steals (2.9 per game). She also shot 75 percent at the foul line and 44 percent from the floor. Perhaps most important, she took on a leadership role for the Lady Devils.
Shes just a great kid, said Model coach Sally Echols. Shes fun-loving and happy, and is a great player to have on your team. I know shell do well at the next level.
At Rome High, Woods was the main attraction for most opposing defenses, and yet he still averaged a team-high 17.1 points per game.
And thats only part of the story. He also averaged 9.2 rebounds and 5.1 blocked shots (believed to be a school record) and shot 67 percent from the floor.
More than anything, though, he became known for his highlight-reel dunks, many of which shook the backboard and got the fans shaking, too.
My mentality is always to get to the rim and attack it,
said the giant center.
Woods was named the GACA North AAAA Player of the Year, and is soon headed for the Jordan Brand Classic All-Star game in New York City.
Ive been coaching for 15 years, and I can tell you that players like Tony dont come around very often, said Rome coach Keeth Jones.
At Coosa, Foster averaged a team-high 15.8 points per game, and surpassed DeeDee Burnett as the schools all-time leading female scorer. Foster, a four-year starter, finished with 1,607 career points.
Among her highlights this season was a dazzling 28-point effort in Coosas stunning upset of No. 3-ranked GAC in the second round of the state tourney. That performance cemented her Greater Rome MVP candidacy.
At the beginning of the season, we set some team goals and some individual goals and (winning the Player of the Year award) was one of the goals I set for myself, said Foster.
One of the deadliest outside shooters in the area, Foster knocked down 40 percent of her shots from 3-point range. Last month, in her final home game, Foster broke her own school record by drilling seven 3s in a win over Heard Co.
Robyn has done so much for this program, said Coosa coach Connie Guinn. Just being able to coach a player like her makes me feel special.
Foster and fellow guard Ieshia Alexander teamed up to form one of the most explosive backcourts in the state. They combined to score 33 points per game while directing Coosa to a Region 7-AA South regular-season title.
The Lady Eagles went undefeated in subregion play, and also were unbeaten on their home floor.
It was a fun season, said Foster