Nobody asked me but...if the Sikeston Bulldogs win a third straight district soccer title tonight, a statue of head coach Derrick Long should be erected at the Sikeston Complex soccer fields.
Long has taken what was the worst soccer program in the area, to one that is a force. In a town that once was football crazy, soccer is making big strides.
The recent success of the varsity program has been a big factor for more interest throughout the community.
If anyone saw the Bulldogs play earlier in the year, there is no way you would have predicted Sikeston in a district title game. That has been the m.o. of the Bulldogs, start slow but by the end of the year they are playing their best soccer.
Long reminds me of 'The Usual Suspects' character Verbal Kint. You think he has no idea what he is doing and then by the end of the film or in this case the season, he is the mastermind known as Keyser Soze.
Sikeston will have its hands full with the No. 3 ranked team in Class 2, the Notre Dame Bulldogs. Notre Dame has lost only one time this year with 22 wins. Led by leading goal scorer Jack Wedemeier who has 24 regular season goals and 6-foot-7 midfielder Ryan Willen who is second with 19 goals, Notre Dame has been waxing opponents all year.
Of course Notre Dame should be pretty good in soccer with their extensive recruiting program, but that is another matter for another day.
Sikeston will be a heavy underdog on paper against Notre Dame. But as everyone should know, you don't play games on paper. I like the speed and quickness of Sikeston's Blake Taylor, the passing of Chris Carnell and the human wall in goal known as Scott Droddy.
Don't let the peroxide seep into your brains Notre Dame. Sikeston will be ready and the last time I checked, they are the two-time defending champs.
Notre Dame is going to fill its side with more fans, the question is...will the Sikeston faithful come out to support their team? This is our rival school now.
Notre Dame represents the best our area has to offer for soccer. Come out and support YOUR Bulldogs city of Sikeston.
* The much anticipated match up between the New Madrid County Central Eagles football team and the Dexter Bearcats comes to bear Thursday at Charles Bland Stadium in Dexter.
It is going to be a physical, hard-hitting game. Dexter has displayed a solid aerial game in the last two weeks with senior quarterback Josh Stevens throwing for close to 400 yards against Perryville and Kennett.
In addition to the passing game, the Bearcats have a solid, hard-nosed runner in Zach Ventura who recently went over the 1,000 yard mark for rushing. The O-line is solid and the defense has a special group of linebackers that leads the defensive unit.
Having said all that, I am taking the Eagles. I believe NMCC can match up with Dexter up front led by Patrick Guest and L.T. Sutton. The Eagles linebacking corps led by Corey Rowe and Sedrick Hemphill can cover the entire field and should hold down Ventura and Dexter's running attack.
The biggest question for the Eagles is can they cover Dexter's passing attack? Look for Sutton and Guest to be in the face of Stevens all game long.
Do you believe that when the Pixley family gathers for Thanksgiving that the losing coach will have to sit at the kiddie table? Just a thought.
And finally, nobody asked me but...if a World Series is played and nobody watches, is a champ still crowned? Calling the Cardinals World Champions is a bit much.
How about Triple A champs after the performance put forth by the Tigers. I haven't seen that lousy of a defense since Timmy Lupus roamed the outfield for the Bad News Bears before Kelly Leek arrived.