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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Annual Sikeston Corporate Games are now in full swing

Thursday, June 17, 2004

(Photo)
Sikeston Public Schools' Derrick Long takes a swing in the softball competition of the Sikeston Corporate Games Wednesday night against Bootheel Counseling Services.
SIKESTON - Champions representing area businesses are once again meeting on a variety of fields for the 10th annual Sikeston Corporate Games.

"Other than the weather, they seem to be going well," said Jiggs Moore, director of the city's parks department.

The games kicked off June 3 with the lip synch contest and are slated to wrap up with "Super Saturday" on June 26.

The second event, coed football challenge, was rained out June 6 and is rescheduled for Monday. Coed tennis finals will also be Monday along with golf if things stay dry.

Both open and coed softball teams started their games Wednesday and are on schedule so far thanks to cooperating weather.

Aqualympics are scheduled for Tuesday, coed bowling for June 23 and 24; and horseshoes for June 24-26.

June 26 is also the date for the fishing, coed pyramid relay, coed canoe races, coed tug-of-war and a new event, coed team triathlon.

Moore said the coed team triathlon will require three men and three women who will pair off for a three-legged race, a sack race and a water balloon toss. Points will be awarded for each, with the highest point totals determining winners for the triathlon.

Also new this year is the opportunity for businesses to pick and choose which games they would like to compete in rather than paying the $550 entry fee for the entire event.

"We had a couple takers," Moore said, including one bank which will only field a golf team.

"All we did was the basketball," said Vernon Christian at Heritage American Homes. "That's the only event we got into this year. We usually sign up for several events," he added.

Christian said it was difficult for Heritage American Homes to get players for other events this year, however, especially since many are coed competitions. "We don't have many females," Christian said.

Finding seven to eight guys who play basketball, on the other hand, was no problem. "We've got some ballplayers," Christian said. "We won."

While bragging rights are nice for individual games, several businesses are hoping to accumulate the most points over the entire Corporate Games event for the big win.

Gary Schaefer, human resources manager for Cott Beverages USA in Sikeston, said Cott was able to find participants for nearly all the events and is off to a good start.

"There's approximately half the employees in the plant involved - we do have good participation," Schaefer said. "Some only participate in fishing, some only participate in bowling. Several employees are in five or six events but we'd like everyone to participate in at least one event."

So far, Cott has done well: "We took second place in basketball; we took fourth place in the eight-ball tournament," he reported.

While it's nice to win, just playing has benefits, according to Schaefer.

"The reason we participate is to promote our work as a team," he said, "and we feel that is important inside and outside of the plant."

Last year's overall points champion for the Sikeston Corporate Games, the Missouri Department of Transportation's district office in Sikeston, already appears to be in a nice position to defend its title with a six point lead over the next point leader, the Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston, according to Connie Robinson, MoDOT customer service representative.

"For the number of people that we have participating we are doing real well," she said. "Our numbers are down but we are still making it to all the events."

"We took a first place," Robinson continued, reporting their victory in the June 7 coed 8-ball game. "And we had an unexpected second place finish in volleyball."

MoDOT also brought home a third-place in basketball and are expecting some nice points from the remaining games including the softball, horseshoes and the coed pyramid relay competitions. "We just hope that the weather holds off and we can get them all in," Robinson said, noting many employees who participate in the Corporate Games hold off vacations until June but may not be available to compete if games are rescheduled in July.

With the number of participants in recent years not being as high as they would like to see, the next Corporate games will not be held until 2006, according to Moore, which they hope will "build some enthusiasm back up."

Despite the two year wait, this year's basketball competition winners so far sound confident of their ability to do well again next time. "Look out in 2006," promised Christian.