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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

Sometimes making plans can be a little dangerous

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Speaking of Sports

Now that I have settled into my new job as sports editor, I would like to outline for you, the readers, a few ideas I have been thinking about.

My plans for The Standard Democrat's sports section include a vast amount of local game coverage, feature stories on area athletes and columns expressing the opinions of the sports editor and his sports reporter.

I want the sports section to be one that features a variety of sports coverage. I envision it offering a balance of stories, from auto racing to prep wrestling and everything in between. Apparently, there are no sports that begin with the letter Z.

On Friday, we will begin previewing the fall prep sports season by introducing you to our area's trio of girls tennis teams -- Sikeston, Dexter and Charleston. On Sunday, you will get a glimpse of prep softball's fall season when we take a look at each of area teams -- Sikeston, East Prairie, Kelly and Oran. Next week, we will have previews of volleyball, boys soccer and co-ed cross country before unveiling our 2007 Football section in the Aug. 26 edition of The Standard Democrat.

I would like to implement stories featuring an Athlete of the Week. That would be an opportunity for us to not only highlight the accomplishments of an area athlete, but also it could be a chance for us to get to know that athlete on a personal level.

Each week on Wednesday, I intend to have a column that will express an opinion that you may or may not agree with. Regardless of the type of agreement, the purpose of this column will be to make you think about sports from another view.

At least, that's the plan I have. I hope it doesn't blow up on me!

If anyone has an idea or suggestion for use in our sports section, contact me at the E-mail address listed at the end of this column.

If anyone read the stories that I wrote about the 55th Annual Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo in the Thursday and Friday editions of The Standard Democrat, I have to admit that I am novice when it comes to that sport.

In fact, when I attended the Bootheel Rodeo on Aug. 8, it was the first time that I have ever seen a rodeo live.

While growing up in the north central region of Illinois, there are not many rodeos that are staged in that area of the country. If a rodeo happens to make a stop in the area of my hometown, it's usually one of the smaller, lesser-

known circuits.

What I witnessed last week at the Sikeston Rodeo Grounds was not, by any means, on a small scale. It was 2 1/2 hours each night of jam-packed action from nationally-ranked cowboys. And it also featured some of the most rugged, onery and fiesty livestock I have ever seen.

I grew up on a farm in Illinois. I have, at least, a small idea of the tendencies and personalities of livestock.

The PRCA did an excellent job of keeping the crowd interested in its product. From announcer Randy Schmutz getting the fans revved up to the background music blaring over the PA system, there was barely a moment when something wasn't going on.

Rodeo clowns Rick Young and Rudy Burns proved that rodeo is a place where light-hearted humor can go a long way. They made the rodeo a great environment for family fun.

The PRCA was very helpful and I enjoyed working with all of the people from it. Behind the scenes, PRCA secretary Shelley Hall updated me with the results whenever I was off trying to snag an interview with a contestant. Her dog, a Shetland Terrier, which is appropriately named Cowboy, lazily guarded the office door while judges, cowboys and other PRCA officials walked in and out.

But the biggest impression I had about the Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo was the way the Sikeston Police Department handled the heavy flow of traffic into and out of the Sikeston Rodeo Grounds.

In what could have been a traffic nightmare with long-standing delays, cars moved slowly up and down Ingram Street without having to stop for hardly any amount of time.

I'm sure it's not easy dealing with thousands of excess visitors when wild and crazy rodeo fans come to Sikeston.

As always, I'm speaking of sports. ...

Jeff Arenz is the sports editor of The Standard Democrat. He can be reached by calling 471-4141 after 6 p.m. or by sending E-mail to standemsports@yahoo.com.