I’ve always related to the plight of long-suffering Ralphie Parker.
You remember poor Ralphie? He’s the tormented kid in the movie “A
Christmas Story” who only wants one thing in the world for Christmas
-- a shiny-new Red Rider BB gun.
But as much as he wishes and hopes for the special gift, little
Ralphie is dissuaded and put down by his parents and his teacher for
even suggesting such a present.
Even good ol’ Santa Claus tries to derail the boy’s dream of
hoping to find the prized possession under the Christmas tree,
telling the wide-eyed lad “You’ll shoot your eye out kid.”
However, in the end, Ralphie gets his Red Rider BB gun, and all is
right in his world.
But during this seasoning of giving, how many of us get what we
really want for Christmas? If you’re like me, not very often.
The same can be said for many of Burbank’s local coaches, players,
teams and schools. When it comes down to it, there are a lot of
people and teams in need.
So for the sake of laughs, I will play the role of Santa. I am
ready to dip into my magic bag of goodies and hand out what is needed
for the local community.
Here is my Christmas wish list for this holiday season:
* To Burroughs High girls’ basketball Coach Doug Nicol: A season
with no more injuries, illnesses or accidents to his players. And no
more players transferring. Nicol’s teams have had a history of bad
luck, and it’s about time the basketball gods smiled a little on the
* To former Burbank High baseball player and Pittsburgh Pirate
Freddy Sanchez: A chance to prove himself as a starting major league
infielder. Sanchez is one of the nicest guys around and he deserves
all the good that will be coming his way.
* To Burroughs High girls’ tennis player Jeannie Eamnarangkool: A
few more bubbles on her Scantron form to fit in her last name.
* To the Burbank High aquatics teams: A wish to finally have their
own on-campus swimming pool. After their pool was damaged in the 1994
Northridge Earthquake, the Bulldog teams have had to practice and
play their contests at Burroughs and at park pools. Construction on
their new pool facility is expected to be completed by next fall.
* To Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls’ basketball Coach Bryan
Camacho: Some gift certificates to the Men’s Warehouse, so he can
remain in spiffy duds and maintain his front-runner status as one of
the area’s best-dressed coaches.
* To the Bellarmine-Jefferson High football program: An updated
schedule for next season that includes a few nonleague opponents that
have winning records. The Guards have likely gotten over their sugar
shock after dining on so many cupcakes last season.
* To Burbank High girls’ tennis Coach Paul McNiff: Some good
doubles talent to go along with a fine group of singles players.
* To Burbank and Burroughs highs: All-weather running tracks to go
along with their all-new schools. There are no plans to upgrade the
pitiful tracks that exist at the schools. Why go to all the trouble
to construct completely new facilities and keep the same old inferior
tracks? It doesn’t make sense.
* To Providence High Athletic Director Andrew Bencze: A little
rest. Bencze keeps up a hectic schedule coaching three sports, along
with being a teacher and handling the athletic-director duties.
* To the Burbank Vikings Youth Tackle Football program: Continued
growth and increased success for the area’s only football feeder
program for the local high schools.
* To Burbank High baseball team: A little space to practice.
Because of ongoing construction at the school, the Bulldog squad has
been pushed into smaller and smaller confines. And at this time of
year, much of their field is taken up by a huge Christmas tree lot.
* To Burroughs High girls’ and boys’ golf Coach Mike Krose:
Endless amounts of fax paper and ink cartridges. Krose never misses
faxing in the scores of his Indian teams -- even when they are on the
* To former Providence and Seattle Mariners’ baseball player Jeff
Cirillo: Hoping he gets back his offensive punch and finds a team
where he can contribute on a regular basis, after suffering through
two bad seasons.
* To the CIF Southern Section: A realignment of the Foothill
League. It’s time the Santa Clarita schools make their own league.
* To any local high school team: A CIF Southern Section
championship. Although the Bell-Jeff girls’ basketball made it to a
title game last season, it couldn’t bring a crown home to Burbank. In
fact, it’s been six years since a team in the city has won a
championship (the 1997 Bell-Jeff girls’ hoop team). And you have to
go back to 1994 for the next title. Come on teams, end the drought.
* And to everyone else: A wonderful holiday season and a joyous
JEFF TULLY is the sports editor of the Burbank Leader. He can be
reached at 637-3245 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.