Column: Tis the season for gift giving
Published 11:01 am Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Tis the season to be jolly, so I guess I will hand out some Christmas gifts.
Usually I limit my gifts to just the Dowagiac coaches, but since I have been working with coaches in Cassopolis, Edwardsburg, Niles, Buchanan and Brandywine, I have a few gifts for them as well.
Here we go.
Josh Hood, Cassopolis basketball - I would like to give Josh, who is a former Brandywine standout and a Dowagiac basketball coach, a minimum of 10 victories this season. I have only seen the Rangers once this year, but this young team has a lot of talent. If they can quickly adapt to Hood as their coach, the Rangers should be a force to be dealt with down the stretch.
Greg Blomgren, Dowagiac basketball - I would also like to give Greg a minimum of 10 victories this season. Dowagiac struggled last season and is off to a 1-2 start this year. I hope that 2006 brings better things for the Chieftains, who have worked hard in the off season. Let's all hope it pays off.
Nate Knapp, Brandywine basketball - I would like to give the gift of much success to Knapp, who is in his first season at the helm of the Bobcats' program. It is tough to judge how good Brandywine will be right now because of a new coach. I do know that the Bobcats have some talent, and like Cassopolis, must now adjust to a new style of play.
Denny Parks, Niles basketball - I would like to give Denny, who is a former Southwestern Michigan Basketball coach, the gift of Peace on Earth. The past few years have been rocky for Parks, but he is a good coach and he has enough talent on this squad to have a good season.
Carl Greulich, Dowagiac volleyball - This is Carl's second season, which means there is some stability in the Chieftain program. I have already seen that there is improvement over last season, so I would like to give Carl the gift of defeating Lakeshore in a dual match. Dowagiac has never defeated the Lancers in the history of the program.
Ericka Boulanger, Cassopolis volleyball - Another new coach for the Lady Rangers, who have already finished second at the Lake Michigan Catholic Tournament this past weekend. I wish Ericka, a former Brandywine standout, much success in the coming new year.
Jami Foster, Niles volleyball - This veteran Niles coach has spent a lot of time this off season getting her team ready for the 2005-06 season. I would like to give Foster the gift of knocking off one of the top teams in the Big 16 Conference this season.
Lisa Holok, Buchanan volleyball - We have another young coach who is doing good things with her program. I would like to give the gift of contending for a Lakeland Conference championship to the Lady Bucks. I was impressed with Buchanan the night I saw them against Dowagiac.
Gary Whitney, Brandywine volleyball - I would also like to give Gary the gift of contending for the Lakeland Conference title. The Bobcats were hit with some big losses due to graduation, however, Brandywine still has a lot of talent and should be able to make a run at the title again this season.
Rex Pomranka, Brandywine wrestling - I would like to give Rex the gift of contending for the Lakeland Conference championship. The Bobcats have a nice line up that with time, will be tough as the season approaches the state tournament.
Bob Galvin, Niles wrestling - Galvin, who recently reached a career victory milestone, has done a great job with the Vikings' program. This Christmas I would like Galvin to have the gift of a victory over Lakeshore. The Lancers have been a thorn in the side of the Vikings for some time. Perhaps this will be the season they finally get the “Big Red Menace.”
John Green, Dowagiac wrestling - I would like to give the gift of a top finish in the Big 16 Conference. The Chieftains are making their final run through the league and I would love nothing more than to see Dowagiac go out with a bang.
Frank Mucha, Buchanan wrestling - The Bucks are coming off a big year and are expecting bigger things this season. I would like to give veteran coach Mucha the gift of a Lakeland Conference championship as well as a shot at the district title.
Joe Linton, Cassopolis wrestling - I saved this gift for last because it is so special. I would like to give Linton the gift of a district title this season. Linton, the son of the late Ranger wrestling coach Steve Linton, has taken over a program with talent and desire. I wish the Rangers much success this season.