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Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

Sikeston 'won' with class

Sunday, March 2, 2003

I'm sure that the majority of Sikeston Bulldog Nation has heard about the highway robbery at Notre Dame High School on Thursday night.

I'm sure everybody's heard about how Sikeston won the game against Notre Dame on a last-second shot, only to have it taken away by a questionable call with 0.2 seconds remaining.

And I'm not saying questionable by my opinion. I'm saying questionable in the opinion of the vast majority of those in attendance at Thursday's game.

Almost all Notre Dame fans and coaches that I've spoken with thought the call shouldn't have been made.

But I'm not going to spend my time and space talking about it. Those that were there know what happened.

What I'm going to talk about is the class and dignity shown by the Sikeston Bulldogs players, coaches and fans.

In a hostile situation that could've gotten out of hand, Sikeston's players handled it as well as you could imagine.

Of course they were visibly upset and sometimes emotions get the best of you.

But everyone stayed in control. Nothing was thrown on the court. No technicals. Nothing extraordinary.

Just all of Sikeston was irate. Who wouldn't be?

One second the game is won. The next, the season's over.

But considering the circumstances, the entire Sikeston community handled the situation with class.

Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield was as incensed as I've ever seen him in his five years here. But even he wasn't out of control. Imagine Bobby Knight in the same situation.

Sikeston should take pride in the way they handled everything. The Bulldogs may not have had as many points on the scoreboard in the end. But they were the winners.

* All year long I've been battling these area pollsters in the SEMO Regional Top 15 poll.

On paper, it's a great idea. But it failed miserably.

Week after week the poll would be released. And week after week, Sikeston got no respect.

Sure, with a 5-10 record, I can understand where Sikeston may not get many votes.

But one by one, the Bulldogs knocked off teams ranked ahead of them in the poll.

And yet, Sikeston kept sliding in the rankings despite having a 13-12 record in the latest poll.

Wins against Dexter, Cape Central, Portageville and Oran weren't enough to overtake those teams in the rankings.

So I did some research to see what the story was.

At first, I thought my colleagues were just clueless. I thought they would take one look at Sikeston's record and vote accordingly.

Little did they know, the Bulldogs played the No. 1 toughest schedule in the region.

But come to find out, some of my colleagues at other newspapers were simply not voting for Sikeston out of spite.

Why? You tell me.

But I was told that they wouldn't give Sikeston a single vote because our paper was ranking the Bulldogs too high, and they were trying to balance it out.

First of all, that's not the way polls are conducted. You rank on who's the best.

I was ranking Sikeston 5th, behind Charleston, Poplar Bluff, Dexter and Notre Dame in that order.

Overrated? Well look at who they beat.

Of course, everybody thought I was nuts for ranking Charleston No. 1 all year.

The Bluejays vindicated me on that one.

Sikeston has by far the worst record in the poll, but I don't rank by what a team's record is. I rank on who the best teams are.

Sikeston showed the difference between a top small school, Oran, and a good larger school with a dominating performance.

If we rank by records then Clarkton should be No. 1 in our poll. And Creighton University should be No. 1 in the NCAA poll.

That's not how it's done people.

It's just a stupid poll. But if we're going to do it, shouldn't it be done right?

If things don't improve, I guess we here at the good ole' Standard Democrat will have to start doing our own polls again.

It would be more accurate. I guarantee it.