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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

Be proud Sikeston, get some banners

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

There was something pretty significant that happened around two years ago.

Something that took the town of Sikeston by storm.

There was some sort of frenzy about a team that did something or other...my memory comes and goes as I age but I'm almost positive this team was successful at something.

As I sat there at 'The Jays Nest' Tuesday watching the Charleston Bluejays unveil their brand new state championship banner, it hit me.

The Sikeston Bulldogs basketball team completed an undefeated season bringing home their first-ever state championship.

Wow.

How could I -- me -- the sports editor of this great paper -- have let a historic moment like that slip my mind.

You know, someone should come up with some sort of, I don't know, long piece of cloth or metal that can remind people about accomplishments such as that.

Nothing fancy. Maybe just a big piece of paper that reads, 'Home of the Undefeated State Champion Sikeston Bulldogs' and then list their unblemished record, the year it happened and, hey, if a booster wants to toss a few bucks towards the school's way, possibly the names of all players that were on that team.

It's a stretch, I know. But something like that seems reasonable for such a monumental factoid of our illustrious sports history in southeast Missouri.

Maybe if the Sikeston Field House, one of the biggest high school venues and home of the Sikeston Bulldogs, I might add, could obtain one of these pieces of nostalgia to display proudly in their gymnasium, a forgetful, husky fellow like myself could be reminded of how great something like that is and that it actually happened.

I've seen t-shirts promoting the event. I even saw a billboard right smack dab in the middle of the busiest intersection in town congratulating the feat with a very nice, focused picture of four key players on that team (my photo, by the way).

What I haven't seen was a simple banner hanging up in the Field House where one should have been a long time ago.

It's been a mere nine months -- a pregnancy, if you will -- since 'The Factory' brought home their 11th state championship and they already have a banner hanging proudly in their gym -- along with ten other championship reminders and a few others recognizing second, third and fourth place finishes.

Scott County Central has the same. They display all of their trips to the state finals by covering their gym walls with orange banners with black lettering. Pick any school around here that has won, or even sniffed a state championship, a district championship, a quarterfinal appearance, anything, and that accomplishment is hanging in their gym.

Now, before you start to get irate, I know there is a huge picture hanging in the Field House lobby of the 2010-11 basketball team commemorating that historic year. AND, and, the state championship trophy is in the trophy case as well.

But, honestly, who stops to look at the trophy case? The guy that put the trophy in there two years ago couldn't even tell you where he dropped it off.

I think to myself, 'Is Sikeston not proud of this? Do they not want people to know about what an amazing accomplishment that was?' And then I quickly punch myself in the shin and remember that I haven't met a true 'Sikestonian', or a Bulldog fan at that, that is not proud of every single thing this town has accomplished. Which is a great thing.

I also start to think that Sikeston's 2009 track state championship -- which was Sikeston's first state championship in it's sports history -- is the best kept secret in the history of sports. You'll need a CSI team to figure out if there is a hint of that thing anywhere in the Field House.

Nobody asked me...but Sikeston, get a banner.

Get two. Hey, I'll even say get something for the cheerleaders and their many, many state championships they've won. Anything to help the actual team they're cheering for.

Put them in the Field House for all to see. Inside the actual gymnasium. From the rafters, on the walls or even take down those projection screens that no one looks at and hang them there.

Put them in an area where people are sitting and watching the games, like every other high school gymnasium in the United States.

Not that it's not cool, but Sikeston even has an inflatable Bulldog head that players run through before a game for a total of 15 seconds...and no banners.

C'mon man.

Heck, I'd settle for road signs for when people enter the city limits that lets them know they're entering a town where state champions live.

Bernie even has those signs. Don't be outdone by a Mule.

Banners always have and always will be the epitome of great accomplishments in sports.

Be 'Sikeston Proud'.

You got rings. Now get some banners.