I’ve sent Santa a wish list for area sports figures and since I have an in with Santa, I guarantee he’ll try to deliver these when he comes down your chimney tonight. Now if you don’t have a chimney, he’ll figure something out.
My 3-year old granddaughter announced she didn’t want him in her house in the middle of the night, so my son told her he would meet Santa in the driveway – gotta love it – so where there’s a will, Santa will find a way.
Here’s the list that was forwarded to the North Pole. Apologies in advance for those left out and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season to all.
Mhs football coach Sal Morello: Another playoff team for his Blue Dragons in 2014 and please, Santa, how about a championship?
Xavier football coach Sean Marinan: Replacements for Andrew Meoli and Joe Carbone to go with all the returning linemen. And a playoff berth and a championship would be really nice, too.
Mhs baseball coach Jason Serra: A winning record and a tournament berth next spring in the brutally tough CCC South.
Xavier baseball coach Rich Magner: A state championship. Every year he has a winning record, but has never won it all. Please Santa, he’s not getting any younger!
Xavier Director of Admissions Br. Tom Fahey: Another great winter week at Delray Beach. And Santa, be sure to put some of those free coupons in his stocking for the trip. He won’t tell anyone.
Mercy coach Tim Kohs: A lifetime supply of valium. What, I get excited at games?
Xavier basketball coach Mike Kohs: Fast development of my frontcourt players to go with my two great guards.
MHS basketball coach Dave Sytulek: Fast development of my guards to go with my strong frontcourt.
MHS diver Dan Kinney: A State Open diving championship. And a great trip to Disney World with the MHS band in April.
MHS swim/frisbee coach Trevor Charles and wife Nicole: Peace and joy as they watch son Greyson grow up.
Xavier westling coach Mike Cunningham: A state wrestling title for his very good team.
Cody Carrillo: A wrestling title to cap his career in football and wrestling at MHS.
Wesleyan football coach Mike Whalen: An undefeated season, another Little Three crown and finally, a win over Trinity next fall for his Cardinals.
Devon Carrillo: Another great season playing for the Wesleyan Cardinals.
Tim Boyle: A fair shot at winning the quarterback job for the UConn Huskies.
Tim D’Aquila: A Zone 3 title, a state championship and a Regional crown — and finally, after all these years — a berth in the Legion World Series. A lot to ask, but they’re getting close.
Mets fans: Another bat and the hope that Bartolo Colon can win 18 games like he did for the Athletics last summer.
Yankee fans: A starting pitcher, another reliever, a closer, a healthy Derek Jeter and a third baseman in case ARod is suspended a billion games. A lot, but we’re the Yankees.
Red Sox fans: Somebody to replace Jacoby Ellsbury.
Patriots fans: A defense.
Giants fans: The end to this season.
Jets fans: A quarterback.
Dan DeConti, Xavier rookie hockey coach: A winning season — and fewer kids deciding to go to prep school and to play hockey on teams other than their high school team.
Tom Serra: Good weather for the Hall of Fame dinner on Jan. 30.
Rob Smernoff, MHS girls basketball coach: A big season for his team. If his young big kids develop quickly, this could be a heckuva team. He has the guards.
Jenn Price, MHS cross-country and track coach: Recognition for the tremendous job she does turning out one good team after another, year after year.
Tom D’Aquila: Recognition for all the quiet behind the scenes work he did for the MHS Booster Club and the ongoing work he does for the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame and the Middletown Legion baseball program.
Former Mayor Sebastian Giuliano: Recognition for being a great local sports fan and supporter of kids plays and concerts.. You see him at MHS, Xavier and Mercy sporting events, I saw him at the MHS band concert with the Hartford Symphony and I saw him at the stunning MHS drama club presentation of RENT last spring.
And Santa, can you bring some common sense to the Trumbull High principal who tried to stop the production of that play? Otherwise Santa, put some coal in his stocking.
The football coaches of the state: Please Santa, get them to shorten the high school football season. Practices began in August and the LL title game was last Thursday.
But most of all Santa, let the spirit of the season come to all. Have those that haven’t seen a friend in a while call the friend and let them know you still care. Have those who had an argument with a family member call and begin the healing. Life is too short for such stuff.
Have parents and friends of kids who play offer encouragement and support. The most important people in kids’ lives are parents, so at this holiday season Santa, just remind moms, dads and guardians to let their suddenly very big children know that you love them desperately.
Santa, have all of us drop some money in the Salvation Army buckets or send a donation to a charity in honor of — or in memory of — a loved one. Some really good ones are the Tommy Fund at Yale that helps the families of children stricken with cancer, the Southern Poverty Law Center of Alabama, which fights organized hate groups in America — and there are far too many of those — and the Human Rights Campaign, the largest advocacy group for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Americans.
In far too many places, hate for LGBT folks still exists and we need to fight that. There are many more; just pick one that you like and give.
Finally, a personal note. A week before my mom died on July 1, she called the family together in her Hospice room and said to all of us, “Love one another.” When my son died from leukemia on April 3, 1990, at age 14, the funeral card his mother and I had prepared was from the Gospel of John 15:12: “Love one another as I have loved you.”
Twenty-three years later, my mom said the same thing on her deathbed. I have carried the card in my wallet every day for those 23 years.
My final wish for this Christmas, Santa: Have us all work very hard to love one another.