Nobody asked me but...the end has come for your humble scribe loyal readers. After two years of domination, it is time to move on.
From rattling the cages of the powers that be at Notre Dame to coining a nickname for the basketball dominance at Charleston, it has been fun to say the least.
I never had a manifesto or goal for the column. I wrote what I thought, plain and simple. A lot of people disagreed, some agreed (thanks Mom). If you take anything from this column, it was not politically correct. It was what many try to avoid these days, the truth.
In my view, the column was not really a column. It was a quick take on local and national sports as if you and your buddies were sitting around the bar talking sports. The only difference is that I stated my opinions for public consumption. Like, Cardinal fans are not the best baseball fans. Face it, your not. If you need therapy, I know a guy. Has done wonders for me...I mean some guy I know.
The best part of my job was the people I worked with on a daily basis. I believe that my fellow writers, Derek James and Larry Lewis, are the best in the business. Nobody understands Sikeston sports like Derek. Nobody can create a story like Larry. The man has a firm handle of the English language. Our sports photographer, David Jenkins, always seems to get the right photo. It has been a pleasure gentlemen. Of course, nobody asked me.
I had the chance to interview some legendary coaches in Jim Bidewell, Lennis McFerren and Ronnie Cookson. It was my honor to ask these men some crappy questions. I didn't care, it was great to hear these men talk about the game of basketball.
What many of us never see is how those men interact with their players. They could care less how many wins they have. That is secondary. Bidewell, McFerren and Cookson are more concerned about producing responsible adults that go on and make a contribution to society in a positive way. But hey, nobody asked me. I believe Sikeston athletes are in good hands in the future. Basketball coach Gregg Holifield has his program heading in the right direction.
Sikeston has the best track coach in the area in Jerry Dement. The soccer program is reaching new heights with Derrick Long and hopefully Kent Gibbs can turn around the football program. Nope, nobody asked me.
A surprising benefit of the job was interacting with area coaches. If I knew I was covering a certain coach, I couldn't call what I did work. It was fun, even inspiring. A short list...
Corey Adkisson, head football coach at East Prairie - thanks for all your help and a bright future awaits.
Eric Ellerbrook, head girls basketball coach at Portageville - truly an asset to the program. Passion for the game, more for his kids. Great combination.
Aaron and Arlen Pixley, head football coaches at Dexter and New Madrid County Central - Both have a tremendous work ethic and they just go the extra mile for their kids. Truly good people.
Finally, I can't write about local coaches without mentioning Gavin Miller, head girls basketball coach and athletic director at Dexter. Sir, you made my job easy. Keep plugging away, I believe your final four trip is just around the corner.
And finally, nobody asked me but...I will miss the sweet low-post moves of Sikeston's Michael Porter, the utter offensive dominance of the "Wolf" at Scott Central (Drew Thomas) and Dexter's Amanda Dooley becoming the next Babe Didrikson.
To all the Notre Dame fans, I will miss our back and forth. One more jab, that "hail mary" of a shot by Abe Dirnberger against Sikeston in the basketball district finals was a dagger in my heart. Next time Abe, open your eyes before you shoot. Now...let it go. Sikeston and Notre Dame have become good rivals and local high school sports are the better for it.
If you didn't know, this and all previous columns have been in dedication to my Dad. I hope he would approve (mom didn't).
I am not big on sayings, but this one has stayed with me...
"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of the things and no good thing ever dies." (Line from the best movie ever made, Shawshank Redemption) And with that, nobody will ask me.