Gifts for those who made local sports fun in 2013
By Jeff Oliver
Published: Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 12:46 a.m.
In continuing with a long tradition, it's that time of year to leave some gifts under the tree for those who helped make the local sports year enjoyable.
OK, so I'm not Santa Claus, but I am a fat guy, so here goes ...
• For Charleroi wide receiver/kick returner Dakota Moorer: A chance to replay his senior season with more(r) players with his kind of talent so the Cougars could enjoy a winning season.
• For former California baseball coach Don Hartman: A quick return to the baseball diamond as a high school head coach with one of his players being the first girl to be named all-section in baseball — his daughter.
• For new California baseball coach Nick Damico: A lot of cotton to stick in his shoes because he has some awfully big ones to fill.
• For Belle Vernon Area quarterback Travis Snyder: Blessing with holy water so he can go through his entire senior season in 2014 without getting hurt.
• For Monessen football/basketball player Javon Brown: A deal with a record label that would make his father, a member of Wu-Tang Clan, proud.
• For Ringgold quarterback Nico Law: Two new pairs of turf shoes for all the running he will be doing around defenses next season.
• For new BVA baseball coach Daryl Hixenbaugh: The kind of “magic” he had when he coached the old Charleroi Magicians in the Mon Valley Thorobred League for many years.
• For Mon Valley sports historian Steve Russell: the chance to sell tickets for the National League Championship Series at PNC Park in the fall.
• For Monessen girls' basketball coach Gina Naccarato: The chance to coach the next 3,000-point scorer in Lady Greyhound history.
• For Charleroi baseball coach Luke Mollis: A WPIAL playoff game at Vets Field with the Cougars playing in it.
• For Charleroi and Ringgold baseball players: A Charleroi American Legion baseball team to play for in 2014.
• For Monessen boys' basketball coach Joe Salvino: A player as tall as his assistant, Major Corley.
• For Ringgold basketball player Dayshore Majors: A chance to hit a game-winning shot in the BVA gym in front of the Leps' student body that playfully razzed him the entire night the last time he played there.
• For BVA boys' basketball coach Kyle DeGregorio: A patent for his enthusiasm so he can sell it to high school coaches throughout the country.
• For Charleroi girls' basketball player Mia Woytovich: The opportunity to be the school's next 1,000-point scorer and to do it in front of a home crowd.
• For BVA football fans: The naming of Gary Dongilli as the next football coach and an instant return to glory for the Leps.
• For Ringgold boys' basketball coach Phil Pergola: Yancey Taylor, Czar Walsh, Mike Horan, Jeff Tyree and Jamont Kinds to coach for one game so he can remind Ringgold fans that he really can coach winning basketball.
• For Sammy Vasquez Jr.: The chance to hold a meaningful title belt over his head.
• For boxing trainer Buzzy Garnic: A long line of champions to flourish at his Round 2 Gym facility in Coal Center.
• For Monessen boys' basketball official scorer John Kukrak: Another title ring to add to his jewelry collection.
• For area football and baseball official Mark Mizerak: The interview he always wanted to do.
• For all those mentioned above: Thanks for being good sports one more time and for making the last year so much more enjoyable for me the entire year.
• For all of you folks who have read this column throughout the year: Thanks for your loyalty, comments, suggestions and interest and hopes that 2014 will be even more fun than 2013 was.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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