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Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Sikeston back where it belongs

Sunday, March 31, 2002

The MSHSAA released the standard enrollment breaks for the 2002-03 and 2003-04 schools years.

With the new classification format coming into effect next school year, there were going to be some obvious changes on where schools would be classified.

Under the new breaks, Sikeston will remain in Class 4A the next two years in football. Most schools in the area weren't affected by the changes in football, which will add a 6A class for the biggest schools.

Sikeston will again compete in Class 4A, District 1 next year against Cape Central, Perryville and Poplar Bluff, which drops from Class 5A.

Jackson is easily the largest school in the area with an enrollment of 1,554.

No other football district in the area will have any changes for the next two years.

But in basketball there will be all kinds of movement. Sikeston will move up to Class 5A after competing in Class 3A. Sikeston's enrollment of 1,095 makes its the fourth smallest school competing in the class after being the largest 3A school in the state the last two years.

Vashon, the three-time defending state champions in Class 4A, will also compete in 5A as the smallest school in the class.

Sikeston will most likely compete in a district against Poplar Bluff, Cape Central, Farmington and Jackson.

Schools like New Madrid County Central and Dexter will move up to Class 4A and will compete against virtually the same teams as last year with the exception of Sikeston's departure. Kennett and Doniphan barely made the cut in Class 4A and will be two of the smallest schools in that classification.

Oran, Richland, Advance and Bernie will all move up to Class 2A next year. Hayti will be the second largest 2A school in the state.

Charleston, Bloomfield, Portageville and Twin Rivers will move up to Class 3A.

Some schools get lucky on the changes and some don't. Oran for example, would probably rather compete in Class 1A where its chances of winning would increase. But it may be a blessing in disguise, considering they won't have to face defending 1A state champs Bell City next year.

Sikeston's another team that ran into some bad luck. In its two years in the lower class, NMCC and Dexter fielded some of its best teams in school history.

Had Sikeston remained in Class 4A those two years, they would've had an excellent shot at winning district championships.

Both years the Bulldogs would've been seeded either No. 1 or 2 as they posted a 7-3 record against Poplar Bluff, Jackson, Cape Central and Farmington, with two of those losses coming in December.

One of those wins was against Poplar Bluff, which won the district this year.

Now, with NMCC and Dexter being hit hard by graduation, and with Sikeston returning four starters for next year, the Bulldogs probably would've been a preseason favorite in that district.

Instead, they will play in the larger class against a Poplar Bluff team that will almost certainly be state ranked next year. A Cape Central team that will only get better under head coach Derek McCord and always tough teams from Jackson and Farmington.

Class 3A wasn't nice to the Bulldogs. Sikeston always seemed more at home in 4A, where they won five district titles in 10 years from 1991-2000.

It was certainly bad timing, but Sikeston is back where they belong.