With another demanding year of high school athletic competition behind us, this scribe stumbled upon the notion of asking our esteemed Melissa and Anna coaches their ideas on the “perfect vacation.” After all — who better to ask? It can be a stressful grind getting through a season: all those practices, those games — those precious moments with referees and umpires.
A limit of 200 words or less was requested for this exercise — which might’ve torpedoed the project outright, as it sounds WAY too much like (s-c-h-o-o-l) for June 15. And there was one more sniveling rule: “Not being bothered by a reporter” would be deemed a Flagrant 2/Red Card/Personal Foul infraction and excluded from consideration. With gratitude, we can report no coaches went there and 10 fine offerings are presented below. Many thanks to everyone who shared their ideas on the “perfect vacation.”
Frank DePaolo, Melissa volleyball head coach
My perfect vacation has three stages:
Stage 1 — Prepare for a 4-wheeling trip to Colorado. My family plans out our map, our meals and all of our excursions, which usually include white water rafting through the Royal Gorge, Jeeping in Ouray and hiking in and around Silverton.
Stage 2 — Take the trip. Now the fun really begins. All the breakfasts we eat together, honey and peanut butter sandwiches for lunch while we are on the trails and dinners around the camp fire. We usually lose at least one family member in the Arkansas River while we are rafting. We will see big horn sheep, marmots and an occasional bear. Even skunks entered our campsite one year.
Stage 3 — Summer work on the house. Part of the deal when you own a 95-year-old home is that it needs constant repairs. Never real major stuff, but enough to keep me busy. But I get lots of enjoyment working on a house someone bought from Sears and Roebuck almost 100 years ago. I even have a few bois d’arc stumps left underneath that really drives home the history of this house. That’s my perfect summer vacation.
Jason Heath, Anna athletic director/head football coach
Travel some place where there is no cell service, and just being together as a family.
Eric Rodgers, head coach/Melissa softball
A dream vacation would be following the Texas Rangers to the West Coast, as I would love to go to five games in five days. Of course, schedules would have to match up, but I would like to start in Seattle at SafeCo Field on the last night of a three-game series. Day 2 would find us in San Francisco, catching an A’s versus Rangers game just across the Bay and Day 3 we would visit AT&T Park for a Giants game, while in between we would enjoy the city. Day 4 would find us in Los Angeles enjoying some sites and visiting Dodger Stadium. On Day 5 we again meet up with the Rangers, this time in Anaheim versus the Angels. During our vacation we would make sure to visit Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, The Hollywood Walk of Fame, Universal Studios, Disneyland, among other places. If time allowed, maybe we could sneak down to San Diego and catch a sixth game, along with the Midway Museum and San Diego Zoo.
Scott Turner, head coach/Anna girls soccer
The perfect vacation is spending time with family, loved ones and friends — doing what you love. After college, I was working full-time and coaching as an assistant for University of Texas-Dallas part-time. I would schedule my two weeks paid vacation to coach summer soccer camps to earn a little extra spending money. I used vacation time to do what I love: coaching. To this day, I make time every summer to coach soccer camps with FC Dallas.
Sharing travel with loved ones is always an adventure. Whether it is a staycation close to home or traveling together outside the country, the perfection is in the moments you share during the sojourn. My perfect vacations have been the ones I’ve spent with my wife Frances. She is a beautiful, brilliant woman, and we laugh a lot (on) our trips to Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, Colorado. The beauty of nature is mesmerizing in our National Parks. Our forefathers secured these sites for our great nation, allowing everyone access to their national treasures. I also love going to beaches to play soccer, swim in the ocean, listen to the waves, smell the sea salt in the air and devour fresh seafood.
Manuel Avila, head coach/Melissa girls soccer
Summer is time for family. I just can’t spend enough time with my wife and kids. Whether that is riding bikes, walking the dogs, playing at the water park, anything and everything we can do just to be with family. It’s the simple things that make this time so special.
Heather Lane, head coach/Melissa girls basketball
Well, to make it perfect, it would have to be free. Definitely have to take my entire family : (husband) Kevin, (daughter) Charley, Mom, Dad, brother Curtis and family of five — but have our own space since 10 is a lot.
We have a tendency to go to Alabama and Florida to the beaches, but how about Hawaii this time? My husband, my mom and my dad have been but the rest of us haven’t so that’d be cool. They would have suggestions about where to go, what to see/do and what to eat.
Must do and see:
Spectacular views (to thank God)
Ocean (for my mom)
Seafood (for my dad)
Snorkeling (for my husband and daughter)
Waterfalls and waves (for me)
Adventure (for my brother’s three boys)
Flowers (for my sister-in-law)
Hiking trails (for all of us after eating so much)
Sight-seeing (for all of us together) so maybe Pearl Harbor, pineapple farms, helicopter rides and volcanoes.
Back to reality: Coaches don’t get much of a summer so any free time with family is the best!
Kyle Phifer, head coach/Anna boys basketball
The perfect vacation would be anywhere that has a beach and includes my family.
Kelley Pitzer, head coach/Melissa boys soccer
The perfect vacation, put simply, is any time spent with family and friends. Our family plans a trip to Estes Park, Colorado, every summer to spend time together with as few distractions as possible. The time together is what is most important.
Tomika Crosby, head coach/Anna volleyball
My perfect vacation: Surrounded by family and extended family, with lots of family-fun activities. Stay at an all-inclusive resort — not particular about location as long as there is a nice family-friendly beach and activities. I love spending quality time with my family — parents, siblings and all of our children together.
Eric Benton, Head coach/Melissa boys basketball
Here is my perfect vacation:
On Day 1, fly into San Jose, California, then drive down to Monterey.
On Day 2, get up and play 18 holes at Cypress Point.
On Day 3, get up and play 18 holes at Spyglass Hill.
On Day 4, get up extra early so that I could play 36 holes at Pebble Beach.
Then on Day 5, fly back home.