The Friday Night Drive Team of the Week MVP belt.
The Friday Night Drive Team of the Week MVP belt. — Mark Busch - mbusch@shawmedia.com

So if you follow us on Instagram, you saw a picture yesterday of a big championship belt with our logo on it, and if you could zoom or squint, the words "Team of the Week MVP."

Here's what it all means.

Last year, in most of our Shaw Media Illinois markets, we did a fan vote each week for a Football Player of the Week. We would nominate a handful of players, fans would vote, and the winner would be named the Football Player of the Week for the Northwest Herald, or Joliet Herald-News, etc.

At Friday Night Drive, we are taking that concept up several notches for 2019.

Each Sunday during the regular season, and even into the playoffs, we'll open up voting for our Team of the Week.

11 players on offense. 11 players on defense. 1 great team.

We're going to have some flexibility on how many players will be on the Team of the Week at each position each week - some weeks have more standout RB performances, others have better WR or QB performances. But each team will have at least 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs and 3 OLs on offense, and 3 DLs, LBs and DBs on defense.

We'll nominate several players at each position group for you to vote on and send out the voting link each Sunday during the season on our website and our social media channels.

Voting will end on Monday nights, and after we go through the results – we will check for fake email addresses and any other ballot stuffing measures – we'll announce the Team of the Week on Tuesdays.

We consider it a pretty big honor to make it to the Team of the Week. Those that make it will be competing against hundreds of other players each week.

So what about the belt?

The player who gets the most votes in any week, we're headed out to your school to drop off our Team of the Week MVP belt, sponsored by Rosati's of Crystal Lake.

It will be a huge honor for any winner of the belt. It'll mean teammates, coaches, classmates and the community got behind you with enough support to get MVP honors. I'm excited to stop by some practice and present the belt. So, players and coaches, if you see me or one of our Friday Night Drive editors out on a field on Tuesday with a black drawstring backpack, get your phones ready, do it for the 'gram and go nuts, because we've got good news.

So get ready to support your teammates, classmates and local kids!

John Sahly
Editor in Chief
Friday Night Drive