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New year, aspirations: FCN staff looks ahead to 2016

CUMMING -- New Year’s is a time to look back and reflect, both on the good and bad from the last 365 days. But it’s also a time to look ahead.

There’s a lot to look forward to in 2016. As we begin the second half of this decade, everyone may have different things on the top of their list, whether they be about sports, shows, holidays, work, family, resolutions…you get the picture.

Seeing as the vast majority of the most-read stories in 2015 were crime- or death-related, staff at the Forsyth County News decided to share a lighthearted view of what we are most excited about in the coming calendar.

Some are sure bets (unless our favorite TV shows get canceled). Others may be far off dreams (one of us is sure to finally win the lottery, right?). They all keep us hoping.

Kayla Robins, staff writer

“My cousin is getting married this Thanksgiving, so that’s got to top the list. Of course, spring TV show season so I can have an excuse to be lazy. Covering the crime and courts beat here, I’m always looking forward to the next silly criminal whose failed actions can give everyone a laugh. I’m from Florida, so I’m excited to (knock on wood) not drive home in an ice storm. Speaking of Florida, I’d mention something about Gator football, but I usually don’t get much empathy around here…”

Heather Griffin, legal clerk/front office

“There are a couple of things I am looking forward to: (hopefully) a healthy year; some awesome movies in theaters; my vacation to Washington D.C. (never been there); and even some snow (????). Notice the snow was the last one.”

Brian Paglia, sports editor

“I’m really hoping to get a new running partner this year. Translation: a new dog.”

Jim Dean, online editor

“For 2016, I’m looking forward to a very big change in my world. My wife, Sherrie, and I are going to be grandparents for the first time. According to my daughter, Maranda, Owen Lee Burnett is supposed to make his appearance sometime around the second week of January, but I think he may just hold out one more week and show up on my birthday! I’ve already promised Mandi that I’ll be the one to spoil this youngster, so she needs to be ready for that. Nothing else I could say would even come close to that, so I’ll just stop there.”

Ryan Garmon, advertising director

“I have a European trip in the works in the spring of 2016. Looking forward to visiting Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. It will be my third trip to Europe, and I feel I’m the best equipped to appreciate each country’s offerings. Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt if one, just one, of the teams I pull for actually wins a title.”

Kelly Whitmire, staff writer

“With my sports teams either underperforming or rebuilding this year, I’m hoping in 2016 the good guys – aka the Bulldogs, Braves and Falcons – can finally put something worthwhile together. I’m especially looking forward to seeing what Kirby Smart can do as UGA’s new head coach. Personally, I don’t have any huge plans yet for 2016, but you never know what’s going to happen, and I’m looking forward to whatever comes my way. Oh, and I just won my fantasy football league, so hopefully a repeat is in the cards.”

Micah Green, director of creative imagery

“I am headed to Nigeria in January for two weeks to document how a group of American dentists and doctors conduct surgeries in remote towns. I’ve never done anything like this so I am excited, but also a little nervous because Boko Haram has been pretty active in the country lately. But I am going to take a Nerf gun with me, and I am deadly accurate with it (just ask Michael Foster), so I should be fine. Also looking forward to the real Bulldogs (the ones from Mississippi) finally claiming a national championship in football. Hail State.”

Michael Foster, sports reporter

“Returning the favor to Micah Green after he Nerf gunned me in the head.”

Connor Kelly, advertising representative

“For 2016, I am looking forward to playing in the Pond Hockey National Championships in Minnesota in January. I did it for the first time last year, and it was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. It takes place on a frozen lake in Minneapolis with over 2,000 players from all over the country. Hockey in Minnesota is like football in the south. It is like a religion. Over 10,000 spectators showed up to watch it last year. Many teams have ex-NFL players, so the competition is top notch. Most people who play hockey grew up playing on ponds as kids (I did when I lived in Michigan), so it is a great thrill to be able to do it again as an adult. I plan on going back every year until I die – or until my wife won’t let me anymore.”

Cheri Boghos, advertising account executive

“The Kansas City Chiefs winning the Super Bowl. And a new husband.”

Angie Decker, graphic designer

“I am looking forward to watching my daughter play in her first season of college softball at Brenau University. Go Golden Tigers!”

Vince Johnson, publisher

“I’m looking forward to a prosperous new year for our staff and community. It’s a wonderful time to live in Forsyth County, and I’m thankful to be a part of it.”

Tracie Pike, copy editor

“Bailing Micah Green out of jail in Nigeria for bringing an ‘assault rifle’ into the country.”