Christmas is upon us once again, and the many sports personalities throughout the area, state and nation are keeping an eye out for ol’ St. Nick, awaiting his sleigh with reindeers to drop in and provide them with a special gift for the reward of 2014 and for the promise of what 2015 might bring.

For David Beaty, new Kansas Jayhawk football coach: A bunch of high school recruits to build a foundation for future success.

For Bill Snyder, veteran Kansas State football coach: A new lease on life, perhaps a time machine to keep him eternally young.

For Bill Self, Kansas basketball coach: A big man like Joel Embiid, and a guard like Mario Chalmers who can defend and knock down game-winners.

For Bruce Weber, Kansas State basketball coach: More players like Marcus Foster and Thomas Gipson.

For Gregg Marshall, Wichita State basketball coach: Another Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet, and a clone of Cleathony Early.

For Andy Reid, Kansas Chiefs coach: Some wide receivers who have hands to consistently catch the ball, and an injury-free season.

For John Fox, Denver Broncos coach: An indoor stadium in which Peyton Manning can play with dry hands.

For Garden City Community College basketball coaches Brady Trenkle and Nick Salazar: Victories on Jan. 5 over nationally-ranked Hutchinson Blue Dragons men’s and women’s teams, and a full house at Perryman Athletic Complex to root them on.

For the FBS Committee: An overhaul to expand to a 16-team, four-week, bracketed playoff.

For the NBA: A new rule prohibiting college players from entering the draft after one year in school.

For Men’s Professional Golf: At least one of the Majors to have a Rory McIlroy-Tiger Woods showdown on the final day.

Good reads

Three sports books, all with local and state interest, might provide some good holiday reading material.

McPherson author Steven Michael Farney has published his fourth book, and third on Kansas high school basketball, with his latest “Streakin’: Consecutive Game Winning Streaks in Kansas High School Boys and Girls Basketball.”

Highlighted in Farney’s book are the Sublette Lady Larks, who won 53 consecutive games, two state Class 2A championships, and the opening game of another season. The Lady Larks won titles in 2004 and 2005 behind Shalee Lehning and a talented group of players.

The 53-straight wins rank seventh all-time for Kansas high school girls basketball teams.

On the boys side, local interest comes from the Moundridge Wildcats, who from 1990 to 1993 captured four consecutive Class 2A state championships, and in that span won 59 consecutive games, ranking second on the all-time boys list.

One of the sparkplugs and leaders for those Wildcats was Jacy Holloway, currently the head coach of the Garden City Buffaloes’ boys basketball team. In his senior season, and in the 50th straight win, Holloway celebrated being nominated to the McDonald’s All-American award by scoring 36 points, snaring 13 rebounds, posting 12 steals and handing out 8 assists in an 86-40 victory over Remington. The 36 points was a career-high for the future Iowa State Cyclone standout.

The author can be contacted at and his website is


Former Manhattan Mercury Sports Editor Mark Janssen has written a book entitled “Cat Tales.”

With a foreword by current K-State football legendary coach Bill Snyder, Janssen chronicles many of the great names and sports events in Wildcat history, highlighting both football and basketball legends.

For those who may remember, Janssen is a 1968 graduate of Scott City Community High School.

For information on ordering the book, go to cattalesbymarkjanssen on Facebook; or email Mark at

Guaranteed that it will warm the hearts of all the Purple Pride and Wildcat Nation.


University of Kansas history buff Kenn Johnson has produced his second edition of featuring Jayhawk athletes in his latest book entitled “More University of Kansas Basketball Legends.”

The book has a foreword written by former KU basketball coach Ted Owens, and this is a successor to Johnson’s 2013 book, “KU Basketball Legends.”

For the Jayhawk basketball fan who can’t get enough, this will be a great winter read during the cold months of watching KU games.

The book was published by The History Press of Charleston, S.C., and can be purchased at most bookstores. For more details, go online to

Sports Editor Brett Marshall

can be emailed at