“Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.” — Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol”

This time of year is filled with aspirations for new things and an unflinching hope for future prosperity.

But whether it comes from a jolly old man in a red suit long overdue for a gym membership or a crystal ball in New York City surrounded by partiers eager to turn the page on a chapter in their life stories, the opportunity for change is the same.

All of that got me thinking: What would select figures around Harker Heights athletics be wishing for this holiday season? What would they hope for when the clock strikes midnight Monday evening?

So, in the spirit of the holidays, below is what I would wish for each of them:

Celneque Bobbitt, Harker Heights head basketball coach: Consistency from his posts. A former post player himself at Killeen, Bobbitt loves to push the ball into the paint. But so far this season, the Knights’ (11-4, 1-1 8-5A) inside men have been quiet. This coming from one of the area’s tallest teams with 6-foot-5 senior Andre Hughes, 6-7 junior Roderick Taylor and 6-6 sophomore Celneque Bobbitt II.

Shirretha Nelson, Harker Heights head girls basketball coach: Signs of improvement. This season’s early struggles have been particularly hard to take given where the Lady Knights (7-8, 2-2 8-5A) were last year — a record 35-2 season. With only one starter returning, Nelson has gone back to square one, trying to get the Lady Knights to work as a team while working through growing pains.

JaQuan Jackson, Lady Knights senior guard: A sidekick. Jackson grew up trying to outplay the boys, but now she’s tasked with trying to outplay entire teams of girls. The lone returning starter from last season, the future Louisiana Tech star is shouldering a lion’s share of the load with little help from anybody else. She can’t be expected to do it alone — even Batman had a Robin.

Tyrel Stokes, Harker Heights all-state senior safety: A D-1 opportunity. In person, Stokes is so humble and unassuming sometimes he’s easy to forget. But on the football field, his speed, athleticism and sheer ferocity for the football spoke louder than anything he could say, and the result was 140 tackles and a second-team all-state nod. Now he needs some Division I college coaches to take notice and give this diamond-in-the-rough a shot.

Although most of this is in fun, above all else, I simply wish 2013 brings more hope for the future than 2012, because we all could use a little more hope in our lives.

Contact Alex Byington at alexb@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7566

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