As a kid growing up, a young adult and as a ‘grown-up’ I was raised on the Flint Journal. I loved reading the paper. It started with the funny pages/comics as a youngster and then sports and box scores and eventually the entire paper front to back. I couldn’t wait to run down to Nehrings Market at lunch time to get the early edition the night after a game so I could check the box scores. I would run out to the mailbox on a Saturday morning to grab the copy so I could see the football scores from Friday Night Lights.
I grew up reading Dave Poniers, Dean Howe, Len Hoyes, Vern Plagenhoef and a host of others. As a young coach I valued my relationships with Jody O’Hara, Keith Morris, Bill Khan, Greg Tunnicliff, and Dan Nilsen just to name a few. One of my favorite articles of every year though was Dean Howe’s Christmas/New Years List. It was a who’s who of local, regional, and national sports figures mixed in with friends and family.
In the spirit of Christmas and the holiday season I’ve attempted my own Christmas List- all apologies to Mr. Howe and those named (or not named on the list):
For all mankind- Peace on Earth and good will toward all.
For my Martians serving in the armed service and all of our troops- Much love and respect and an easy ticket home.
The great teachers at Goodrich High School- continued good feelings and building on the positive culture. You make a huge difference everyday.
For Mike Baszler- pizza gift certificates, his own keys, and at least a decade
For Reilly Shellenbarger- continued optimism and a strong comeback
For Tom Alward- A week 1 win in 2018 and another chance at a playoff run for the hall of fame coach.
For Jenny Sweet- a great final two seasons on the track and sunny days in the Keys.
For Loyd Walter- another great year on the links. Lucky to have him on the team.
For Evan Huizenga- continued success on the pitch.
For Roger Conn and Leslie Holt- new tennis courts
For Gary Barns- the 400th career win and long playoff run
For Robyn Batterbee- growth spurts for her young Martians and a chance to get back to Battle Creek
For Jason Gray- another GAC title and another trip to the Breslin (Van Noord)
For Tyler Stephens- a chance to put Goodrich LAX on the map
For Bob Foreback- another 500 wins
For Cheryl Dotterer- a GAC Title and a new scoreboard (not necessarily in that order)
For Shelley Zuwala- the hardest working bowling coach around- more state qualifiers
For Sandra Harris- visits to Kearsley and Battle Creek in late February and early March
For Ken Sirignano- a smile while he drives the dump truck to bring home the medals from Ford Field this year
For Don Brandt- An ace from Trent Barth and another trip to the finals
For the MHSAA- strong resolve. You have support.
For the Lauinger family- a huge thank you, a long vacation and a better alarm clock
For the Wardens- a beautiful healthy grandbaby to spoil with Martian gear
For the Durants- new running shoes to keep up with the new four legged addition
For Bill Duso- the voice of the Martians- another great year of calling games for the village
For Mitch Urbain- a firm handshake, huge hug, organized shoes, more nights home, a vacation with Snookums
For Trudy- a big thanks and hug from the Martian family
For Linda May and Mrs. Schollar- better health and strong recovery
For Ken Zimmerman- unlimited popcorn from the concession stand for the best clock guy around.
For Nikki Norris, Vince Cicalo, the Cavs, and Blue Devils- a home with the Martians
For Courtney Hawkins- new hamstrings to keep up with Comari and my thanks for being a great mentor to so many
For Tim Mowry- an MHSAA Final. One of the best refs in the area to never work the big game.
For Dave St. Aubin- (the most loyal guy you’ll ever meet)- more hunting trips, more fishing trips, more of everything you love to do.
For Tania Davis- a set of knees that will last the next two seasons and beyond.
For Ryan Slocum- another Emmy, a leap to the big show, or an AD job- he’d be a natural
For Brendan Savage- a mile long list of ADs and coaches who are glad to see him back on the local HS beat
For the GAC ADs old and new- best of luck as we move forward- keep doing great things for kids.
For the bus drivers, cafeteria staff, maintenance staff, support staff- a high five, a hug, a free lunch, and thank yous that can never be repaid
For Jo Jo- the strength to keep smiling over the bumps in the road. 80 is right around the corner
To Martians everywhere- Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays. I have the absolute best job in the world. I couldn’t be more proud of your accomplishments. Let’s keep doing great things. #WeAreGoodrich