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Battleline: Thoughts Before The Fall

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Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 9:30 am

Every once in a while, there comes a column which addresses a number of issues in smaller sections.

This is one of those columns.

I’ll start with a welcome to our new intern, Erin (Neier) Unerstall. You may have noticed her byline in last weekend’s paper.

Erin is helping us this fall from Southeast Missouri State, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Capaha Arrow last year and as sports editor.

If you recognize the name, you’ve read our paper for some time. Erin was a multisport athlete at Union High School and her father is longtime UHS basketball and track coach Steve Neier.

She will be covering a variety of events for us during the fall semester and I’m confident she will do a solid job.

Junk the Jamborees

For years, high school football teams enjoyed one little edge over everyone else with the ability to play a preseason scrimmage event one week before the start of the fall season.

Those basically replaced the old intrasquad soap scrimmages (called that for what usually was the price of admission) which the fans could attend to see their favorite team in action.

But this year, everyone else is getting in on the action. We’ve got jamborees in soccer, softball and volleyball. And next year will be even crazier when the fall sports practices will go a week earlier for heat acclimatization purposes.

While these preseason events either will make coaches feel better or more insecure, depending on how their teams do, is there enough to really make these events worthwhile?

I know a lot of coaches like the preseason events right now, but it’s going to take only one significant injury to change some minds.

After all, the football teams will play at least 10 weeks in a row while the volleyball, softball and soccer teams will play many more games than that during the season. I say that’s enough games for everyone. Maybe it would be best for our MSHSAA friends to just say no to preseason events and tell the teams to just play their interscholastic events during the regular season.

Football Follies

It’s my hypothesis that we’re going to find out exactly how popular the National Football League is this season.

During the offseason, the league instituted a new policy on what can and can’t be carried into games. Basically, whatever you’re bringing into the Edward Jones Dome has to fit into a 1-gallon clear Ziploc bag, or something similar. And that led to incidents at Saturday’s preseason home opener for the St. Louis Rams.

The policy is not very popular among the fans, judging on how loudly they booed the announcement during the game.

My message to the fans would be to show restraint until everyone gets things down. This isn’t the Rams making the policy. The league has set the new rules and the Rams are forced to follow them.

I knew this was going to be an issue before the game and made sure I had my press ID visible since I need my backpack to carry my camera gear to the dome. I know the other media members who are working the games are in the same situation with laptops or cameras.

I got hassled multiple times within a block of the dome for my bag, despite having the press tags. And I know I wasn’t alone.

In the short term, this won’t hurt the NFL. Season tickets have been paid for. It could hinder renewals next year, although I think if a person decides going to the games is too much of a hassle, they’ll probably turn around and buy the game packages on television.

It will be very interesting to see what the long-term ticket impact to pro football is though.

What Are the Odds?

Two different members of the Kriete family brought home balls from last Thursday’s St. Louis Cardinals baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

But how they did it is rather odd.

Connor Kriete, who is entering his freshman year at Borgia this fall, caught a home run ball while his father, Allen, caught a foul ball later in the game, while sitting in a different section on the opposite side of the field.

With 41,502 fans at the afternoon contest, the odds must have been astronomical that they would leave the game with two game balls.

More Soccer Thoughts

I’m sure many of you read my initial thoughts on the Real Madrid-Inter Milan match at

I think it was amazing for the St. Louis Visitors & Convention folks to have brought in a second match of big-time European teams this summer and that’s a major accomplishment. It’s obvious that folks in this region will come to see the world heavyweights play exhibition matches in Downtown St. Louis venues.

I’m sure St. Louis will remain a top destination for the big clubs in the future as a match here is a guaranteed payday.

But what’s the point? Is this a one-off deal every year? If that’s the case, everything’s fine as is.

The people will continue to come to see teams such as Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Inter Milan play the game in St. Louis. These are the teams and players you see on television in league matches or at the World Cup. As long as they draw the fans, we’ll see the summer matches.

But if the goal is something more, then there are a variety of questions to ask. One would assume that gauging the interest for the past two matches would energize someone who might look to place a professional team in St. Louis.

Of course, the big stumbling block is a venue capable of hosting such a team. It doesn’t exist right now. The Edward Jones Dome is too big and they’re not going to let a soccer team play a full home slate at Busch Stadium.

Should such a stadium (seating somewhere in the vicinity of 20,000 or more fans) be built, it’s possible that a professional team, most likely in Major League Soccer, would be persuaded to locate itself here.

Should the stadium issue sort itself out, I think pro soccer could thrive in the St. Louis market. I believe pro soccer is much more viable than pro basketball in St. Louis.


Area Scoreboard


Friday, Sept. 19

*Ft. Zumwalt S 56, Washington 7

Borgia 42, Cardinal Ritter 6

*Union 55, St. Clair 35

*Sullivan 27, Pacific 10

Owensville 19, Hermann 16

St. James 28, Ash Grove 7

Brentwood 41, Cuba 24

*St. Charles West 49, Warrenton 7

South Callaway 55, Wright City 6

Friday, Sept. 12

*Ft. Zumwalt North 49, Washington 0

*Borgia 35, St. Dominic 0

*Union 27, Pacific 19

*Sullivan 47, St. Clair 21

Hermann 65, Wentzville Liberty 7

*Owensville 29, St. James 28 (OT)

Cuba 22, Windsor 6

*Warrenton 14, St. Charles 6

*Bowling Green 55, Wright City 0

Friday, Sept. 5

Warrenton 14, Washington 6

Borgia 13, Maplewood-Richmond Heights 0 (forfeit)

*Union 32, Sullivan 19

*Pacific 20, St. Clair 18

*Hermann 52, St. James 20

Owensville 35, Cuba 8

*Wright City 36, Montgomery Co. 0

Friday, Aug. 29

Sullivan 30, Washington 8

Borgia 56, Union 13

Ozark 41, St. Clair 0

Potosi 34, Pacific 13

Hermann 54, Cuba 12

Blair Oaks 42, Owensville 0

St. James 36, Houston 18

Warrenton 28, Troy 0

Orchard Farm 36, Wright City 18

Friday, Aug. 22

Washington 26, St. Clair 21

Borgia 48, Owensville 12

Parkway West 49, Union 39

Pacific 28, De Soto 20

Park Hills Central 34, Sullivan 27

St. James 12, Cuba 6

Hermann 61, Montgomery Co 12

Warrenton 26, St. Dominic 23

Trinity 28, Wright City 24


Tuesday, Sept. 16

*Borgia at Notre Dame    4:30 p.m.

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt N    4:30 p.m.

*Union at Owensville    4:30 p.m.

*Pacific at New Haven    4:30 p.m.

*St. James at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Hermann at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 17

Washington at Warrenton    4:30 p.m.

Sullivan at Northwest    4:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 18

*St. Dominic at Borgia    3:45 p.m.

*Union at Hermann    4:30 p.m.

*St. Clair at New Haven    4:30 p.m.

*St. James at Pacific    4:30 p.m.

*Owensville at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 19

Union at Ft. Zumwalt N Tny    TBA

South Callaway at New Haven    5 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 20

Union at Ft. Zumwalt N Tny    TBA

St. James Tny    TBA

Monday, Sept. 22

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt S    4:30 p.m.

Union at North County    4:30 p.m.

Warrenton at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

Principia at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

Hermann at Cuba    4:30 p.m.

Owensville at Cuba    4:30 p.m.

St. James at Bourbon    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 23

*Borgia at Duchesne    4:30 p.m.

*Holt at Washington    4:30 p.m.

*Pacific at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Owensville at New Haven    4:30 p.m.

*Hermann at St. James    4:30 p.m.


Tuesday, Sept. 16

*Sullivan at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E    5 p.m.

*New Haven at Union    5:30 p.m.

*Pacific at Hermann    5:30 p.m.

*Owensville at St. James    5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 17

Washington at Duchesne    5 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 18

*St. Clair at Owensville    5 p.m.

*Union at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

*Hermann at New Haven    5:30 p.m.

*St. James at Sullivan    5:30 p.m.

O’Fallon Christian at Borgia    6:30 p.m.

Washington at Gateway Match Up    TBA

Friday, Sept. 19

Eagle Ridge at Crosspoint    5:15 p.m.

Providence at Crosspoint    7:15 p.m.

Washington at Gateway Match Up    TBA

Saturday, Sept. 20

New Haven Round Robin    9 a.m.

ECC at Wentworth    1 p.m.

ECC vs. Graceland JV (Wentworth)    3 p.m.

Washington at Gateway Match Up    TBA

St. Clair at Seckman Tny    TBA

Monday, Sept. 22

St. Clair at Salem    5 p.m.

Bourbon at Sullivan    5:30 p.m.

Dixon at St. James    5:30 p.m.

Hermann Tournament    TBA

Tuesday, Sept. 23

Cuba at St. James    5:30 p.m.

Crosspoint at Bethel    5:30 p.m.

Crosspoint vs. Thomas Jefferson    6:30 p.m.

Hermann Tournament    TBA

Boys Soccer

Tuesday, Sept. 16

Crosspoint at Fulton St. Albans    4:30 p.m.

Tolton Catholic at Borgia    5:30 p.m.

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E    6 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 17

*St. Louis at ECC    4:30 p.m.

Union at Affton    5 p.m.

St. Clair at De Soto    5 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 18

*St. Clair at St. James    5 p.m.

Dixon at Sullivan    5 p.m.

Borgia at Trinity    6:15 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 19

Eagle Ridge at Crosspoint    4:30 p.m.

Tolton at Fulton SA    5 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 20

*Ft. Zumwalt S at Washington    10 a.m.

Crowder at ECC    2 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 22

Hillsboro at Union    5 p.m.

CYC Tny    TBA

Tuesday, Sept. 23

*Fulton SA at Thomas Jefferson    4:30 p.m.

North County at Union    5 p.m.

*St. James at Pacific    5 p.m.

*Borgia at St. Dominic    6:15 p.m.

CYC Tny    TBA

Cross Country

Thursday, Sept. 18

St. Clair at Lutheran North    4 p.m.

New Haven, St. James at Steelville Inv    4 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 20

Festus Inv.    9 a.m.

Hermann at Fulton Inv    9 a.m.

Thursday, Sept. 25

Washington at Rolla Inv    4 p.m.

Union, Owensville, St. James at Belle Inv    4 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 27

Hancock Inv    8:30 a.m.

Pacific at Viburnum Inv    10:30 a.m.

Monday, Sept. 29

St. Clair at Elsberry Inv    4 p.m.

St. James at Dixon    4 p.m.

Girls Golf

Tuesday, Sept. 16

*Borgia at St. Dominic    3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 17

Duchesne at Borgia    3:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 18

Ft. Zumwalt S at Washington    3:30 p.m.

Borgia at AAA Meet, Lutheran SC    TBA

Wednesday, Sept. 24

Washington at GAC Central Meet    TBA

Thursday, Sept. 25

*Duchesne at Borgia    3:30 p.m.

Boys Swimming

Saturday, Sept. 20

Borgia at Ft. Zumwalt W    8:30 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 29

Washington at Ft. Zumwalt South    3:30 p.m.

*Conference Games

Racing News