(Staff) Jenkins, Staff)
Five years later, the jamborees are still going strong. While they don't even compare to an actual game, jamborees are certainly better than intrasquad scrimmages or not playing at all.
"I think they're very good -- they give you a chance to go against somebody other than your own people," said Sikeston head coach Charlie Vickery. "I think it excites the kids a little bit and it adds a little more enthusiasm. You get a chance to work on some things. It's not a game and it's kind of a relaxed setting, but it's still important to see where you're at at that point."
Vickery and his Sikeston Bulldogs will play in the East Prairie jamboree on Friday at 7 p.m. Other teams involved are Jennings and New Madrid County Central.
After hosting the first jamboree in 1997, Sikeston made the long trip to Ste. Genevieve two years in a row. Last year Sikeston got to stay close to home when they were invited to the NMCC jamboree.
Dexter will be hosting a jamboree this year also on Friday at 7 p.m. Teams involved are Scott City, Portageville and Fredericktown.
"I think (jamborees) are great," said Dexter head coach Aaron Pixley. "It's a chance to quit hitting yourself and a chance to go out there and have some contact against people you don't know. It gives you a chance to see a lot of things you need to work on. It's good for coaches and players."
Pixley said there are some questions he'd like to see answered in the jamboree, in particular his defense, which lost nine starters from last year.
"I just hope they go out there, swarm to the football and don't be afraid to make any mistakes," said Pixley. "They just need to go out there, relax, and have some fun."
Vickery likes the game-like atmosphere that jamborees provide. Up until Week 1 of the season, the only chance the Bulldogs have to perform on a field with fans in the stands is the Red and Black Scrimmage and the jamboree.
There is always a risk of injury in these full-contact events, but Vickery says it's not something to be concerned with.
"If nothing else, it helps you mentally," said Vickery. "You can't worry about injuries because you can get injured in practice, even non-contact practices sometimes. You really can't worry about those types of things. Hopefully you're in good condition and you just got out and prepare for the season."
Charleston will also be competing in a jamboree at Poplar Bluff along with Malden and West Plains.