Vidakovich column: My sports highlights of 2020
With the year 2020 fast approaching its conclusion, I decided to jot down some of my personal sports highlights from the last 365 days. Though none are real earth shattering in the grand scheme of the sporting world, they were all fun and kept me moving in a social distancing sort of way.
So, here are my sporting favorites in no real order of importance.
• Former Glenwood High basketball standout Cassandra Irving (Casey Hailey) came back home to Glenwood from Toronto, Canada early in the summer with her Game On basketball camp and created a league for area middle and high school players. I got to referee some of these games and it was great to see the enthusiasm of the kids and the parents at just being able to play and see each other. Hats off to Irving for providing a much-needed sports outlet for area kids when it was needed most. Thankfully, she has decided to move back home permanently and is now teaching at the Glenwood Middle School.
• Watching the Denver Nuggets come back from 3-1 series deficits in the summer’s NBA playoffs from the bubble in Orlando was edge-of-the-seat stuff. Truly, the Nuggies caught Utah and then the LA Clippers napping on comfortable leads, but that was just fine with me. Unfortunately, I don’t think Denver will finish any better than third in their own division behind Utah and Portland when the new season starts, but hey, according to cosmic law, not all can be fabulous.
• As I do every August, I made the journey up to the scenic Flat Tops to run the Pyro’s 5-mile trail run. We had to deal with a virus this year and a little smoke, but Donna and Ham DuBois once again did a magnificent job of safely putting together the race that honors their son, William. This is one of my must-do runs every summer.
• Winning the Rifle Coed softball tournament this summer was a thrill. Gina Reece-Long put together a great group of athletes and people as she always has. We have a blast playing together and beating a talented group of young whipper-snappers in the finals made it even more special.
• I’m not a very good golfer, but getting past the first round in the Glenwood Golf Course “King of the Hill” tourney this summer was neat. More fun was playing with Scott Bolitho, Jim Richmond and Karen Greenwood in the year-end “Grand Scramble” tourney. The people at the GSGC make anything up on “The Hill” worth the trip. I always enjoy myself when I’m strolling those fairways and looking at the mountains while hacking away at that little yellow ball of mine.
• The final Sequoia Glen 5K at my house on Halloween afternoon was a good send-off to the 21-year stint of the race. Lots of memories and beautiful spirits were there to celebrate running and the lives that are no longer part of ours. But remember, angels always like to come and visit other angels. This will never change.
• Jessi Rochel and everyone at the Carbondale Community Center did a marvelous job of pulling off the Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving morning. I had fun running in my 10-person, socially spaced group and everything went off without a hitch. People were glad to get out and move around before the big stuffing took place. Great job all!
• Maybe my favorite sports memory of this year has been getting to work with the eighth-grade basketball girls at the Glenwood Middle School. We started meeting for “Homework Basketball” early in the mornings at Sayre Park this summer and continued into the fall at the community center. This is a talented and wonderful group of young ladies. They are a treasure. I hope we get to have a season in late February. The kids deserve it!
Thanks for reading and bless all of you. Do something beautiful for God today and be thankful that he wakes you up each morning. Happy New Year!
Mike Vidakovich writes freelance from Glenwood Springs, where he grew up and has been a longtime youth sports coach and game official.
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