Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Saturday, December 22, 2001
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Mule Sports Daily will resume on Wednesday, January 2, 2002. Happy Holidays to all our readers.

’Twas the night before Christmas,
He lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of
Plaster and stone.

I had come down the chimney
With presents to give,
And to see just who
In this home did live.

I looked all about,
A strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents,
Not even a tree.

No stocking by mantle,
Just boots filled with sand,
And on the wall pictures
Of far distant lands.

With medals and badges,
Awards of all kinds,
A sobering thought
Came to my mind.

For this house was different,
So dark and so dreary,
The home of a soldier,
Now I could see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping,
Silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor
In this one bedroom home.

The face was so gentle,
The room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured
A United States soldier.

Was this the hero
Of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho,
The floor for a bed?

I realized the families
That I saw this night,
Owed their lives to these soldiers
Who were willing to fight.

Soon round the world,
The children would play,
And grownups would celebrate
A bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom
Each month of the year,
Because of the soldiers,
Like the one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder
How many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas eve
In a land far from home.

The very thought
Brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees
And started to cry.

The soldier awakened
And I heard a rough voice,
“Santa don’t cry,
This life is my choice;

I fight for freedom,
I don’t ask for more,
My life is my god,
My country, my corps.”

The soldier rolled over
And soon drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it,
I continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours,
So silent and still,
And we both shivered
From the cold evening’s chill.

I didn’t want to leave
On that cold, dark, night,
This guardian of honor
So willing to fight.

Then the soldier rolled over,
With a voice soft and pure,
Whispered, “carry on Santa,
It’s Christmas day, all is secure.”

One look at my watch,
And I knew he was right.
“Merry Christmas my friend,
And to all a good night.”


Senior Mark Lesko scored a season-high 27 points and added 11 rebounds to lead the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team to a 76-71 win over Manchester in the championship game of the Muskingum Holiday Tournament.

Not including Moravian’s Greyhound Classic, which Muhlenberg competes
Mark Lesko
Lesko is averaging 19.1 points and shooting 69.6 percent from the field this season. His 51 points at Muskingum moved him into 19th place on the Mules’ all-time scoring list with 1,095 career points.
in every other year and has won twice, the tournament championship was the first for the Mules on the road since the 1985-86 season, when they came back from Albany State with the first-place trophy.

Lesko’s three-point play 11 seconds into the second half broke a 38-all halftime tie and gave Muhlenberg (6-3) the lead for good. The Mules extended their margin to as many as eight points before the Spartans (6-5) closed to within three with 45 seconds remaining. Four consecutive made free throws, two apiece by juniors Aaron Holden and Anthony Strachan, helped put the game away.

Senior Bill Cwieka scored 13 of his season-high 15 points in the first half, and Holden also finished with 15. Although out-rebounded 42-31, Muhlenberg committed only four turnovers the entire game and shot 82.1 percent from the free-throw line.

There was no All-Tournament Team selected, but Lesko would have been a good candidate for MVP honors. He scored 51 points in the two games while shooting 17-of-23 from the field. Holden scored 35 points in the tournament and Cwieka poured in 25.

The Mules, who have won three in row, have off until Jan. 4, when they will travel further west for a tournament at Whittier College in California.

Click here for box score.

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Last updated December 22, 2001