Sure, the 2007 spring season ended a couple of weeks ago, but there's still a lot of housecleaning going on as there are a lot of postseason honors that need to be determined. So here are some lingering thoughts about the '06-'07 school year: Heather Mauldin of Tallahassee was voted the Class 4A player of the year and is a finalist for Miss Softball. Is she really the best player in 4A? Mauldin batted .570. Bartow's Erin Foley, who was on the ballot as the FACA District 12 MVP, batted .370. If Mauldin saw the level of competition that Foley saw, I would bet their averages would be a lot closer.

Mauldin plays for Godby High School, which went 20-5 this season. Godby won its district but lost 4-3 to Navarre in the first round of the playoffs. Navarre, which was the 4A-1 district champion, lost in the regional final to 4A-1 runner-up Escambia, 9-6. While that game was being played, a former Navarre assistant was watching Lake Wales beat Naples, 1-0, in an 11-inning thriller, and relayed this message to her former boss at Navarre - she just watched the state championship game, neither Escambia nor Navarre has a chance against Lake Wales or Naples. Lake Wales, of course, went on to beat Escambia, 6-1, then Pasco, 7-0, to win the 4A state title.

So I'll ask again, is Mauldin really the best player in 4A?

It's still a crime that Lindsay Littlejohn never won Miss Softball. It makes you think that if she never won it, no one from Polk County will ever win it. Kelsi Dunne of Spruce Creek, which didn't win the 6A title, is a strong favorite to be named Miss Softball. Maybe a Polk player won't win it because Polk teams are too busy winning state titles.

Lake Wales is ranked No. 26 in the Student Sports Fab 50 and is rated the fourth-best team in Florida behind 6A champion Mirimar Everglades, 6A state semifinalist Spruce Creek and 6A runner-up Miami Palmetto. Student Sports got it right again.

This was a down year for baseball in Polk County - only one team made it past the first round of the playoffs, and no team made it past the second round - but that doesn't mean there wasn't any talent in the county. Lakeland senior Chris Sale beat Sarasota, which is ranked No. 3 nationally. Santa Fe's Nate Striz allowed just one run and got a no-decision against Orlando Bishop Moore, ranked fifth nationally.

The Lakeland football seniors were a high-profile group, and Auburndale's boys soccer team was senior-dominated, but sport-for-sport, there wasn't as much depth in the senior class this year. For instance, the Winter Haven girls basketball team and the Lake Wales softball team each won state titles and each had just one senior.

Let it be noted that was talking strictly about depth, not the level of talent. Any class that can boast top talent - and I'll stay away from Lakeland and Auburndale - like Striz, Monica Arguello, Amber Smith, Dominique Jones, Jeremiah Manning, Idell Bell, D.J. Pate, Bilal Powell and Dominique Davis, among many others, still is a strong class.

This could be just a one-year break from the state tournament in baseball as top programs like Winter Haven, George Jenkins and Lake Gibson all were dominated by talented underclassmen.

Roy Fuoco can be reached at roy.fuoco@directgates.com or 863-802-7549.