Published December 19, 2012
C & G SPORTS STAFF
In keeping with the holiday spirit of gift giving, we asked local coaches and administrators what one thing they would love to give their program this season.
Some wished for tangible items, like state trophies and top-notch facilities, while others took a different route and, instead, asked for feelings of fulfillment for their athletes.
Here’s a sampling of some the items our local coaches are hoping for, to help carry them through 2013.
Utica Stevenson girls basketball coach Troy Marks: “I just want these girls to have fun over the course of the season. We’re a young team, so we realize there could be some bumps in the roads, but I just want them to enjoy themselves, no matter what. This is an experience they should enjoy and see the big picture.”
St. Clair Shores Lake Shore wrestling coach Dominic Zombo: “I want a state championship for this team. It’d be worth it to have to wait until March to get that gift.”
East Detroit boys basketball coach Dave Zauner: “Having (former Madison Heights Madison boys basketball coach) Steve Rhoads as an assistant will be a big plus. He coached me when I was in high school, and I’ve been trying to get him on my staff for a while. Having his experience is a great gift. He’s been around for a long time and can share so much with the players.”
Sterling Heights High boys/girls tennis coach Karie DeBerry: “If Santa were to grant me a wish for Christmas, I would ask that athletes have an opportunity to try as many sports as possible without worry that they are not good enough to play and without any worry of having to pay-to-play.”
South Lake girls basketball coach Shay Lewis: “I wish I could give (my players) muscles. They’re fast, quick, and they have a lot of heart. I just wish I could make them stronger overnight.”
Bishop Foley girls basketball coach Dave Joseph: “We’re hosting our fourth annual Christmas tournament, so a Christmas tournament championship would be pretty awesome to see under our Christmas tree this year.”
The tournament will take place on Dec. 20 and Dec. 22 at Foley. Rochester Adams is scheduled to face Riverview Gabriel Richard at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 20, with Foley scheduled to take on Utica Ford II at 7:30 p.m. The consolation game is scheduled for 5 p.m. Dec.22, with the championship game scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.
Fraser wrestling coach Rick Julien: “I’m really hoping these young wrestlers develop into fine students, excellent athletes, and win themselves a MAC Gold championship.”
L’Anse Creuse North swimming and diving coach Mike Owensby: “For my team, I would be looking for them to stay healthy all season long so that we can attain our goals.”
Grosse Pointe South girls hockey coach Joe Provenzano: “I just like to see players get better at hockey on a regular basis. I know that’s not going to be under the tree, but the girls having fun and learning the game is the biggest thing I could hope to see.”
Birmingham Brother Rice basketball coach Ed Shaffer: “Platform shoes. We are a little vertically challenged.”
Bloomfield Hills Lahser boys basketball coach Duane Graves: “If I could give my program one gift, it would have to be the gift of knowledge, so that way when they say, ‘I know,’ they really do know. On a serious note, I would give them whatever I could because they are such a great group of guys, and I am thankful to be their coach.”
Birmingham Seaholm wrestling coach Neil Tuomi: “A 285-pounder! Seaholm has only had two or three legitimate heavyweight wrestlers in the last 23 years. Please football team, give us a lineman or two!”
West Bloomfield High Athletic Director Pat Watson: “The one gift I would give my programs is to have the best facilities in the nation.”
Troy Athens boys basketball coach Dave Scott: “We’ve been putting money away for the GUN shooting machine. It helps with shooting, rebounding and those things. Just the sheer repetition would make us better.”
Farmington High boys basketball coach Terrance Porter: “Three McDonald’s All-Americans, but I will settle for a new GUN shooting machine.”
Farmington Hills Mercy golf and bowling coach Vicky Kowalski: “(For golf), the best gift would be a short-game practice area for shots from 100 yards and closer. (For bowling), the best gift would be oiled lanes for practice.”
Utica Eisenhower boys soccer coach Josh VanHouten: “A foreign-exchange student from Brazil. If that is too greedy, at least one from any South American country.”
Macomb Lutheran North Athletic Director and football coach Ryan Wesley: “If you’re asking me — the football coach — I would say a domed field with artificial turf. The AD in me would ask for a field house.”
Berkley-Ferndale Unified hockey coach Jeff Fleming: “I’d give our team a memorable season, whatever that entails, especially my seniors. As a coach, you always want your seniors to finish their career on a good note.”
Rochester Adams girls basketball coach Fran Scislowicz: “A big, neon sign that says, ‘Together, we’re better.’”
Lathrup Village Southfield-Lathrup girls basketball coach Michele Marshall: “The understanding to be grateful for the family we are becoming.”
North Farmington girls basketball coach and Athletic Director Tim Carruthers: “I would give our school a huge auxiliary gym for the entire athletic program. As a coach and an administrator, you can never have enough gym time.”
Farmington Unified hockey coach Ken Anderson: “Another good game and victory over Farmington High.”
Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood hockey coach Andy Weidenbach: “I’d guarantee our entire team good health for the entire season.”
Warren De La Salle hockey coach Dan Barry: “I’d give our team a couple more goals here and there. Any team would love that.”
Birmingham Brother Rice hockey coach Lou Schmidt Jr.: “A bus ride to Compuware Arena on March 9 (for the Division 1 final).”
Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day girls basketball coach Frank Orlando: “The gift I would give is, more or less, a message. Playing basketball, with the ability to represent your school, your program and yourself, is an honor. You have the chance to participate and play a game, and represent your family and honor the tradition of the people that have come before you.”
MHSAA Communications Director John Johnson: “I would give our member schools the means to continue to maximize participation opportunities for kids. And to our officials, the most sportsmanlike atmosphere possible, so we can keep them in the game helping kids.”
Royal Oak High girls basketball coach Brian Sopata: “Quality time spent with loved ones as they enjoy much-deserved rest and relaxation, and that they know just how proud I am of each and every one of them.”
Troy High hockey coach Tim Zimmerman: “A consistent effort each and every shift of the game. It’s cheesy, but true.”
Rochester Adams boys basketball coach John Hall: "A victory over Rochester High in the annual Crosstown Showdown."