By JIM HOPKINS
The Christmas season of 2011 is a special one for me. I was fortunate to survive my "event" this past summer. To steal a line from the great philosopher, Yogi, I appreciate all those who made this column necessary!
It's been an eventful year in Adams County sports, and there are many who deserve special rewards. That happens under the Daily Democrat Christmas Tree.
Below are a few of the most deserving:
LARRY GETTS (BHS Football coach) — For crashing the party and ending the drama known here as the SCHOOL BOARD MINUS TWO, Getts deserves credit. For coaching up the Bellmont boys caught in the middle, and leading them to just the second sectional grid title in school history, he gets a slap on the back ... and a five-year extension to his NA contract. (Whoops, the school board must approve it first!)
BRENT FAUROTE (some call him B.J.) — With his inspiration, fueled by a good deal of indignation, the Bellmont wrestling team overcame the odds, Yorktown's hired gun, and the IHSAA's moronic ruling to capture a 14th Team State Wrestling Finals berth last February. I've got a Tony Romo jersey I'm just certain would fit him perfectly. Please take it, Beej!
DOUG SCHULTZ (AC wrestling coach) A short memory. All those one-point losses could keep you up at night. Besides, it's wrestling! There's always another week.
BRIAN HAKES (hockey player) — For skating so well, hitting the bad guys so hard, and saving the day with a couple of blocked kicks, Brian has earned a lot of honors. For jumping into the Bellmont wrestling room, right into the varsity heavyweight slot at one of the top wrestling schools in the state, Brian receives some serious admiration. More treasures are on the way as February draws near. I guarantee it!
ERIC MYERS (SA wrestling coach) — A special eraser. After changing seven weight classes prior to the meet with Bellmont Thursday ... well, your book can't look much better than mine.
ERIC MANN (Eric Mann) — The soon-to-be-retired Jimmy Olson of Decatur has been filling his treasure trove recently with items such as plaques, parade candy, photos with his admirers, a very special chocolate cake, a gold watch, a proclamation from the governor (we're working on it, Eric), and a lifetime pass to all Adams Central sporting events (Rick says it's in the mail!). For the guy who has vowed to make Adams County litter free ... have I got a trash sack for him! It automatically scrunches up the trash, and it rolls around on four wheels and has flashing lights. Now we know, he's got it all!
MICHAEL MOSSER (AC football coach) — Plenty of polish for that sectional trophy. Keep it shining, Mike!
JASON ARNOLD (SA football coach) — Arnold directed 19 seniors to a record-setting 10-2 season in 2011. For 2012 ... a great recruiting year! A few new faces wouldn't hurt! Of course, Luers may protest!
BOB SHRALUKA (Perry White) — Story ideas for Monday mornings. Without Eric's 80 post-weekend stories to mull through ... well, there is going to be a void!
ALLISON GUTIERREZ (BHS point guard) — A new nickname, BIG GIRL!. She may be back row in volleyball, but she's out front, leading the way for the cage Squaws.
IAN GILBERT (President, Monmouth Baseball) — Have I got a book for IAN! 'How to Win Friends, and Influence People' (without a taser gun), by A. Hapifan.
AARON MCCLURE (AC basketball coach) — A very long season. The way the rambling Jets are piling up the wins ... well, there's no rush, right!
DALE MANIS (BHS athletic director) — A new computer program which will direct practice schedules at your facilities. With the new year-round school classes in the works for 2012-13 ... well, your job is going to be a bit challenging. Good luck!
DYLAN MALONE (DDD Sports Editor) — Besides my desk, and a few old scorebooks ... well, all you need is some thick skin, and maybe a smart aleck comeback. Both will serve you well.
And to all, a Merry Christmas!