Nobody asked me but...the Sikeston Bulldogs boys basketball team will make the Class 4 final four. That's right folks, Bob Marley sang it well with "Redemption Song" and the basketball team will redeem the athletics program at Sikeston with a glorious season
With Kash Bratcher, Julian Beard and Rod Moore returning for the Bulldogs and with the Porters enrolling at Sikeston, the team should be one of the tops in the area.
The Charleston Bluejays boys basketball team will join Sikeston at the final four in Columbia, and represent the area in Class 3. Jamarcus Williams is a force down low for the Bluejays and Shawn Sherrell might be one of the best guards in the area, if not the state.
Aaron Redecker of Jackson, Matt Rogers of Doniphan and William Bogan of Bell City, will battle for the big man of the year in the area. Rogers has more skills and is a much better athlete than Redecker and should be the more dominant force in the post. Bogan is an unknown, but is an intriguing prospect from what I hear. We'll see what he's got this Friday in the Riverbend Classic.
Everyone is excited to see this 6-10 kid at Bell City. Bogan, as the word on the street goes, is the Shaq of high school basketball. I might actually pay to watch Bell City play; no scratch that, my food budget at the games will not allow for an admission price.
Folks who believe that the Poplar Bluff Mules basketball team will repeat as Class 5 champions are delusional. Ben Hansbrough ain't Tyler, and the Mules will struggle to retain the mythical title of best team in the area.
Speaking of teams that might struggle this season, Dexter and Portageville will fall on hard knocks this season. Dexter just does not have the fire power and Portageville graduated too many seniors to be a factor in Class 3.
Another Southeast Missouri team will make the final four, as the South Pemiscot Bulldogs will not only make the showdown, but they will win the Class 2 title.
Anthony Jones will battle Sherrell for best guard in the area and he is one of the best players in the state for Class 2.
Class 1 in the area should be entertaining with the likes of Bell City, Scott Central and Clarkton. But Risco has a player that deserves some recognition. Andrew Halford is a complete player and could be a sleeper for a top five player in Class 1 in the area.
The preseason top five players, as I see it are...Jamarcus Williams of Charleston, Shawn Sherrell also of Charleston, Anthony Jones of South Pemiscot, Ben Hansbrough of Poplar Bluff and Matt Rogers of Doniphan.
Also look for Michael Lance of Twin Rivers to have a great season.
The top teams in the area, once again as I see it are...Charleston, Poplar Bluff, Jackson, Sikeston and South Pemiscot.
To drum up some interest for boys and girls basketball, Sikeston should hold a preseason "Red and Black" scrimmage to showcase the talent that will be featured during the season.
Nothing elaborate, just maybe a half of basketball for each team. Admission to scrimmage could be a sports drink or go the donation route and ask for a canned food.
With the state championships coming up for high school football, lets move the state title games to a more fan-friendly site. The dome in St. Louis is just too cavernous. How about playing at Houck Stadium in Cape Girardeau or over at Missouri State in Springfield?
If Missouri ever wants to become a legitimate high school football state, how about televising all the games, not just the Class 6 game? The Class 6 game is usually a blowout and showing every class should generate interest throughout the state. I wonder if the Texas state championships are televised throughout that state?
And finally, nobody asked me but...everyone enjoy their Thanksgiving weekend and get geared up for the upcoming basketball season. Head out to the Riverbend Classic at NMCC on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, you can enjoy the games with your humble scribe, who will cover that day (granting of course the Dallas Cowboys win on Turkey Day, if not, it could be a long week of silence and solitude for yours truly).
On Monday, tournament action in Bernie and Oran kick off for a full week of play. In the Bernie tourney, you heard it here first, Risco will make the finals only to lose to Puxico.
In the Oran tourney, Twin Rivers will find a way to slow up Bell City and win the title.
High school basketball is here folks, so get out and enjoy it!