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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

SHS has major schedule changes

Sunday, July 11, 2004

(Photo)
Sikeston High School's football team saw numerous changes to their schedule during the off-season.
SIKESTON - High School football practice hasn't even started yet, but the Sikeston Bulldogs will still have a lot on their minds with the drastic schedule changes that occurred in the offseason.

The Bulldogs saw the most schedule changes they've had since the 1999 season when a district shift shook things up that year.

Sikeston's schedule will have two new additions and a little reshuffling.

One of the new faces will be the Caruthersville Tigers, whom the Bulldogs haven't played since 1977.

Instead of the usual season opener against Jackson, Sikeston will open the season at Caruthersville on Sept. 3.

Sikeston has an all-time record of 31-7-1 against Caruthersville, but new Bulldog head coach Jerry Dement doesn't expect an easy game for his team.

"Caruthersville will be a very talented team," said Dement. "They were 11-2 last year and had a real good ballclub. They've got a lot of kids coming back."

The Tigers stunned the area by coming out of nowhere last season to go 11-2, winning the SEMO Central Conference and advancing all the way to the Class 2 semifinals.

Prior to that, Caruthersville had gone eight straight seasons with a losing record.

New Sikeston athletic director said in February that they were trying to get Vianney out of St. Louis for the season opener but a conference shakeup for the private school nixed the deal.

Following the Caruthersville game, Sikeston will take to the road against for the 119th rivalry game with Charleston. Only this time it will be played during the day on Saturday at 1:30.

It will be Sikeston's first Saturday afternoon game since the late 1980s.

Dement said Charleston has a conflict on Friday night and needed to get the game moved to the next day on Sept. 11.

"I think they have an alumni function that weekend," said Dement. "They asked us to play on Saturday with it being at their place. We're happy to accommodate their wishes. That's a little different, but I kind of like a Saturday game occasionally. That early in the year it's going to be nice and warm."

Sikeston will then have its first home game against Dexter in Week 3 on Sept. 17.

The Bulldogs will play their first SEMO North Conference game in Week 4 when they travel to Jackson.

The Bulldogs played Jackson six times in the season-opener and only went 2-4 against the Indians.

Dement said getting Jackson off the season-opener was fine by him.

"I think moving Jackson was probably a good move because it's the area's largest school with a highly respected program," he said.

"Getting them off the first date lets us get a couple games under our belt, especially with the new staff coming in. It gives us a little more prep time before we have to play a school with the stature of Jackson."

Sikeston will then host Farmington and New Madrid County Central in Weeks 5 and 6, respectively.

The Bulldogs will close out the regular season with a road game against Kennett in Week 7, the week before district play begins.

Sikeston will open district play on the road against a completely unknown team in West Plains, who replaced Perryville as a district opponent.

"West Plains at this time I don't know a whole lot about," said Dement.

"I know a little about their records and some of their opponents. They will add a little different flavor to the district mix, being an out of area opponent that very few of us know much about."

Sikeston will then close out the season with back-to-back home games against conference rivals Poplar Bluff and Cape Central.

The Cape Central game will be played on a Thursday, which has been the norm since 1998.

"I think it's a good schedule," said Dement. "It's a little different from the past couple. Number one we've got 10 games, and of course the last couple years we only had nine. We think it's got a good strong local flavor which most people enjoy.

"I think it's a pretty challenging schedule, but one that should get us ready for the final three weeks of the season in district play which is our ultimate goal."