By TOM WILLIAMS
Here it is, that time of year when people focus on gifts and giving. And this is the month that most of those gifts are distributed.
The sports community, despite being busy with tournaments and bowl games, is no exception. Therefore, let us take a few moments of your time to offer the annual wish list.
These are the gifts that we would give – if we could – during this holiday season. Some are in fun, others quite serious. A few are even repeat gifts from previous lists that we may keep offering until they materialize.
And, even though they are offered as enjoyment, some of them actually work out. For example, in recent years we wished Tony Blum would get Eli in the Super Bowl, Matt Szczur an All-American selection, the South Jersey win record for Paul Rodio, the Howell family a gym named after Dixie, Chris Curran a starting spot with Ursinus, a turf field at Carey Stadium for Mike Lenhardt, George McNally a school in the Northeast for Lauren and a spot in the South Jersey Hall of Fame for Coach Joe Fussner.
They all happened.
Wonder which ones will come true this year. Regardless, hope you enjoy them.
MIKE WILLISCROFT: World Series championship No. 28.
AL EMENHEISER: a trip to New Orleans to see Georgia in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
GREG SCHIANO: Lots of luck.
DAVE TALARICO: World Series tickets at Camden Yards (or Super Bowl tickets to watch the Ravens).
FRANK RIGGITANO: a season without an injury list.
THE OCEAN CITY PBA: thanks again from the basketball community for their continued sponsorship of the Ocean City PBA Tipoff Weekend. With additional thanks to John Rodio, Gary Schaffer, John Murphy, George Brestle, Al Sacco, Denny DiOrio, Dave Ordille, Karen Mahar, and Jay Gillian. Plus Herb Snyder and the custodial staff at OCHS.
CHUCK SMITH: a turf field for the Mustang Corral.
MIKE LOMBARDI SR.: a spot on Dancing with the Stars.
LEON HART: a brand new Hummer with a world-class sound system.
DAVE PFEIFER: his own indoor track in Absecon.
AARON BOGUSHEFSKY: another South Jersey title.
MIKE LOMBARDI JR. an Emmy Award.
FRANK BASILE: dinner at the diner (an out of state diner, so his son can fly him there).
MATT SZCZUR: a spot in the Phillies’ outfield (watch this one!).
KELLY HALLIDAY: some Pepto Bismol to settle her stomach after all these award banquet meals.
JIM GINN: a new video camera.
MATT PURDUE: a three-peat in 2020.
TRISH HENRY: a four-peat in 2020.
CAPE-ATLANTIC ADs – press box elevators.
WALT TUCKER: more of those lunches with the old guys.
JOE SACCO: plenty more assists.
ANDREW BRISTOL: World Series championship No. 28.
ANASTASIA & GENE: a home closer to home.
KEVIN SMITH: all the way in 2020.
MATT ULMER: indoor football in the WJFL.
BRUCE BEAVER: peanut M&Ms.
JOE FUSSNER: working a TOC final on the court, instead of at the computer.
FRANK VOGEL: a berth in the NBA Finals (watch this one!).
JOSH HENNIG: a chain of gyms.
The NFL: decide clearly what constitutes pass interference.
EARL TARVES: follow his brother, Don, into the OCHS Sports HOF.
GARRETT JONES: lots of double-doubles for ACCC.
MARK RUCCI: a run against Jeff Van Drew for the House.
CORY TERRY: lots of quiet time.
DENNY DiORIO: another win in the Baseball Owners Club.
PAUL BARUFFI: two pain-free knees.
JOHN RODIO: plenty of hot dogs.
TORI ROLLS: Another all star soccer season.
MIKE TROUT: a shot at some post-season action.
YOGI HILTNER: decades more of his dedication to local sports.
MIKE FRANKEL: the New Jersey Sportscaster of the Year award.
MIKE O’BRIEN: a website so he can promote Mainland football.
TONY BLUM: season tickets to watch Joe Burrow play for the Giants.
AL SACCO: World Series championship No. 28.
GENE ALLEN: a quiet, New Year’s celebration.
JOE REPETTI, JAKE INSERRA, JAKE SCHNEIDER: another all star season in 2020.
CHALIE McLAUGHLIN: a yacht with a driving range and putting green.
BOB ADAMS: a reserved seat on the aisle in the Dixie Howell Gym.
BUDDY TARBOTTON: sausage & peppers at every game.
BOBBY BARR: a meaningful win for Duke.
DOUG COLMAN: a trip to the Super Bowl for the Browns.
DAVE WEINBERG: his fourth selection as New Jersey Sportswriter of the Year, this year with a bit more satisfaction.
BUD RINCK: golf at Pebble Beach.
GEOFF HAINES: Lots of chances to see his daughter play this winter.
TOM JAMISON: a repeat for Clemson.
PAUL RODIO: win number 1,000.
FRANK CAMPO: A fishing trip with Chalie McLaughlin.
ANDREW DONOGHUE: continued success on the football field – and as an announcer.
JOHN LEON: his next book made into a movie.
BRAD JAMISON: Another great year adding to the family resume.
GREG DONAHUE: more OCYAA Little League champions.
RON MORETTI: delivery from Marcello’s.
BILL SHALLCROSS: an Academy Award.
STEVE PARKER: a weekend of rounds at St. Andrews.
JOHN BRUNO: another 20-win season.
MIKE DONOGHUE: a holiday dinner with two Athletes of the Decade.
SHERIANN, TATSEANA, SAVANNA & AMBER: lots of apples, pizza, mac & cheese and hot dogs.
MIKE PELLEGRINO: an uneventful and relaxing 2020.
TIM WATSON: Thousands and thousands of frequent flyer miles the next four years.
MIKE McGARRY: two more decades at The Press of Atlantic City filled with unlimited Diet Cokes.
TONY SURACE: World Series championship No. 28.
MATT JAMISON: four permanent whiteboards.
MIKE GILL: the Phillies play-by-play gig.
BRENDAN MCGONIGLE: A 50-yard field goal.
BRIAN CUNNIFF: The Beatles said it – “Eight Days A Week”.
ABBEY FENTON: a couple more South Jersey championship games before she graduates.
DAVE DeWEESE: his 300th career win.
LESLIE JAMISON: A suite on the 50 yard line at State Farm Stadium in Glendale AZ on Saturday.
DR. DAVID SALVO: some clear-headed thinking in 2020.
DON & GLENN WIESENTHAL: a great retirement (though they are missed).
CONNOR LAVERTY: 1,000 points at Widener.
DANIELLE DONOGHUE: a year full of hugs.
JIM SCHAFER: lunch with Larry Shenk in Clearwsater..
TO THE REST OF YOU: have a very happy holiday season and a 2020 full of great sports moments.