By Tony Hooker
Every year I make a list of resolutions, and then, one by one I watch them, to paraphrase that noted 21st century philosopher Mike Tyson, fade into Bolivian. No matter, I am too hidebound to change my ways so here are a few of the ones that I’ve had bouncing around.
I resolve not to let the outcomes of Illinois games affect my demeanor. I am sure that I write this every. Single. Year. I am also sure that I fail. Not this time. The past decade or two of disappointment is a deal breaker. I’m still going to cheer for alma mater, I’m just not going to be so emotionally invested in the outcome.
I resolve to not drink all the beer.
I resolve to make changes to my dietary habits that are better for me, and that I can maintain.
I resolve to with my friends and family on the daily. Life is too precious to put off telling them how much I love and appreciate them.
I resolve to get more exercise. What that will look like is part of the process, and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.
I resolve to read something that isn’t sports related each and every day. Got to kick the personal growth thing into gear.
I resolve to be kind to everyone I come into contact with. I’m ok at this, but I know I can be better.
I resolve to attend church regularly. We all have our own methods of growing spiritually, and mine happens to be in a community setting.
I resolve to continue to be grateful for the opportunity to regurgitate my thoughts on paper each week. I am blessed.
On my annual bowl game pick ‘em thing
So far, with 37 of 39 contests completed, my picks based solely on the mascots of each team has resulted in a record of 21-16. As a control, I also attempted to “seriously” pick the winners based on my knowledge of their teams, opponents, etc. Predictably, I’ve only gotten 17 correct. That’s right, I picked more correctly based on their mascot. Hilarious. Not.
On “best of the decade” lists
To be honest, I didn’t start following high school sports closely until 2013 football, so any list I compose is going to be really light in the early years. With that being said, I’ll just list some of my favorite memories from the past decade in no particular order
*Liam Barr’s fourth down heave to Keagin Patterson to defeat Cumberland. *
*Ryan Pearce routinely outthrowing guys who outweighed him by 100 pounds to win multiple state titles in shot and discus*
*Adam Crutchley overcoming his litany of injuries to finish fourth in the 1600 at state*
*My son excelling his senior year after finally being given a chance to play football*
*Madie Burwell effortlessly stroking three homers to lift VG to its first sectional softball title. *
*Spenser Eversole making seemingly every tackle vs Bismarck Henning in 2015. *
*VGH draining 3’s from all over the court to defeat Unity in a regional game in 2016*
*Kenny “the jet” Guerrero taking a kick to the house while Coach Wienke raised his arms in triumph in a 2015 playoff game vs Johnston City, the last Blue Devil playoff win.
*The Devilettes string of dominance in IDTA hip hop dance competition*
*Cole Thomas refusing to see his career end and running over nearly the entire CGB defense on the way to a game winning touchdown that made VGH eligible for the 2018 playoffs*
*Kyleigh Block and Aliya Holliman teaming up to give the VGH girls a pair of 1000 point scorers that are tough to defend*
There are so many more memories out there. If I missed any obvious moments, feel free to let me know and I’ll include them in a future column.