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DA REGION — I'm checking my list.

I'm going to check it twice.

Why? Just because. OK?

'Tis the season for guys who look like Santa more and more every day to hand out some gifts to the Region's sports community. I hope those chosen enjoy these offerings.

If not, you can't take them back to the mall. And this old baller ain't giving out no refunds.

A 6-foot-6 power forward: I hope that Munster boys basketball coach Mike Hackett and Hanover Central's Bryon Clouse find a post player under their tree Monday.

I think both would prefer this to a new car or set of tools.

Both the Mustangs and Wildcats have very nice teams, but they're like a good-tasting donut. There's a hole in the middle.

Peace wrapped up in a box: Like many, I couldn't believe hearing of the fight that occurred in the Griffith-Hammond freshman boys basketball game. Talk about deja vu all over again.

I know people are working hard at both schools to overcome the tragedy that happened three years ago. But everyone has to keep working hard at this.

Parents, please be quiet. No one wants to hear your noise. Coaches, focus on the game and your players, not the nonsense emanating from the cheap seats. Enough already.

A new Chrysler for EC: Next week E.C. Central's girls basketball team heads to New Castle to play Zionsville in the Hall of Fame Classic. Eric Kundich and his girls have worked hard for this opportunity.

It's a great honor. Here's hoping Jenasae Bishop is healthy and ready to go. Here game is ready for the world's largest high school gymnasium.

A head coaching job for Roy Richards: The hot stove is bubbling as the Region is looking for new football coaching positions at Kankakee Valley, Valparaiso, Hobart, River Forest and Highland.

Roy Richards' coaching resume is as good as it gets. Look what he did at Michigan City under coach Phil Mason. I'm quite sure Richards is looking and I know whoever hires him will be happy. Just positive.

An album for Portage's pep band: I've heard several quality pep bands this basketball season. Kids who know how to lay down a jam. I hope you all understand what an important part you play on game nights.

The best I've heard over the last two seasons is Portage's pep band. If you guys had an album, I'd buy it.

Assisting the Pioneers: One of the biggest surprises of this hoops season is the play of Clark freshman Darrell Reed, a 6-foot-6 bundle of power in blue. Here's hoping Santa brings you a way to get the ball more in the paint. Perhaps Rudolph can move in and gain IHSAA eligibility and play point guard for the Pioneers.

A no-look pass in the fog would be nice.

A new popcorn maker: Here's hoping Lake Station can get a new treat maker for tonight's rivalry game against River Forest. Bragging rights will be on the line in this good ole neighborhood showdown.

When was the last time both the Eagles (5-2) and Ingots (5-3) had a winning record in this game? Pop the popcorn folks. The gym should be more than sardined tonight.

Love and grace: A lot of folks lost someone close to them this season. Even me. It's hard for anyone any time of the year when a loved one leaves the planet.

Remember all the stories shared with them. Look at the pictures of them. And embrace those who are still in our lives.

This is the season of hope and miracles. I will always believe in those two powerful messages. And I hope you all will, too.

Merry Christmas. Happy holidays. And here's hoping for a great 2018.

This column solely represents the writer’s opinion. Reach him at


Sports Reporter

Steve has won awards during two different stints at The Times. In addition to being the Prep Beat columnist, he covers football, boys basketball and boys track. He is a long-suffering Cubs fan.