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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

Boys Basketball

Friday, Jan. 2

Sullivan at Washington    7 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 6

Community Christian at Fulton SA    5:30 p.m.

Cardinal Ritter at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

*Crosspoint at Liberty Christian    7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 8

Fulton SA at Bethel    6:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 9

*Borgia at St. Dominic    6:45 p.m.

*Ft. Zumwalt S at Washington    7 p.m.

*Crosspoint at Eagle Ridge    7:45 p.m.

Fulton SA at Calvary Lutheran Tny    TBA

Saturday, Jan. 10

&Borgia vs. Lutheran N    TBA

Fulton SA at Calvary Lutheran Tny    TBA

Monday, Jan. 12

%St. Charles vs. Bayless    6 p.m.

%Westminster vs. Washington    7:30 p.m.

Fulton SA at Providence    7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 13

%Borgia vs. St. Clair    6 p.m.

#South Callaway vs. North Callaway    6 p.m.

#Hermann vs. Russellville    6 p.m.

Heritage Classical at Crosspoint    7 p.m.

%Francis Howell Central vs. Union    7:30 p.m.

#Montgomery Co vs. New Bloomfield    7:30 p.m.

#Harrisburg vs. New Haven    7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 15

#South Callaway-North Callaway loser vs. Montgomery Co-New Bloomfield loser    6 p.m.

#South Callaway-North Callaway winner vs. Montgomery Co-New Bloomfield winner    6 p.m.

Bethel at Fulton SA    6:30 p.m.

#Hermann-Russellville loser vs. Harrisburg-New Haven loser    7:30 p.m.

#Hermann-Russellville winner vs. Harrisburg-New Haven winner    7:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 16

%St. Charles-Bayless loser vs. Westminster-Washington loser    4 p.m.

%Borgia-St. Clair loser vs. Francis Howell Central-Union loser    5:30 p.m.

*Crosspoint at Community Christian    6:30 p.m.

%St. Charles-Bayless winner vs. Westminster-Washington winner    7 p.m.

Providence at Fulton SA    7 pm.

#Seventh-place game    7:30 p.m.

Consolation game    7:30 p.m.

%Borgia-St. Clair winner vs. Francis Howell Central-Union winner    8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 17

%Seventh-place game    2:30 p.m.

#Third-place game    3:30 p.m.

%Consolation game    4 p.m.

%Third-place game    5:30 p.m.

#Championship game    6:30 p.m.

%Championship game    7 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Fulton SA at Liberty Christian    6:30 p.m.

Crosspoint at CAGSL    7:30 p.m.

%Washington Tournament

#South Callaway Tournament

Girls Basketball

Friday, Dec. 26

Seckman Tournament

Northwest 43, Mehlville 42

Festus 58, Patriettes 13

Seckman 36, Oakville 28

Pacific 73, Carnahan 38

Saturday, Dec. 27

Seckman Tournament

Mehlville 39, Patriettes 35

Oakville 73, Carnahan 38

Festus 47, Northwest 30

Pacific 51, Seckman 33

Monday, Dec. 29

Seckman Tournament

Seventh-place game—Carnahan vs. Patriettes    1:30 p.m.

Third-place game—Seckman vs. Northwest    1:30 p.m.

Consolation game—Oakville vs. Mehlville    3 p.m.

Championship game—Pacific vs. Festus   3 p.m.

Rolla Tournament

St. Clair vs. Waynesville    3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 30

Rolla Tournament

St. James-Sedalia loser vs. Waynesville-St.Clair loser    2 p.m.

St. James-Sedalia winner vs. Waynesville-St. Clair winner    5 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 31

Rolla Tournament

Consolation game    9 a.m.

Seventh-place game    9 a.m. at MS&T

Third-place game    12 p.m.

Championship game    3 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 2

Hermann at Washington    5:30 p.m.

New Haven at Bourbon    6 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 5

*Union at New Haven    6 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 6

*Holt at Washington    5:30 p.m.

*Crosspoint at Liberty Christian    5:30 p.m.

*Borgia at St. Dominic    6:45 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 7

Borgia at St. Clair    7 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 8

Fulton SA at Bethel    5 p.m.

Park Hills Central at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

Cuba at New Haven    6 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 9

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

*Crosspoint at Eagle Ridge    6:15 p.m.

Fulton SA at Calvary Lutheran Tny    TBA

Saturday, Jan. 10

Borgia vs. MICDS (St. Joseph’s Academy Shootout)    12:30 p.m.

Fulton SA at Calvary Lutheran Tny    TBA

Monday, Jan. 12

Lutheran South at St Clair    5:30 p.m.

Lindbergh at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

@Washington vs. Patriettes    5:30 p.m.

#Harrisburg vs. Russellville    6 p.m.

#New Bloomfield vs. Montgomery Co    6 p.m.

Fulton SA at Providence    6 p.m.

@Helias vs. Sullivan    7 p.m.

#North Callaway vs. New Haven    7:30 p.m.

#Hermann vs. South Callaway    7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 13

Pacific at Ursuline    4:30 p.m.

Ft. Zumwalt East at St. Clair    5:30 p.m.

Heritage Classical at Crosspoint    5:30 p.m.

@St. Charles West vs. Union    5:30 p.m.

@Borgia vs. Eureka    7 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 14

#Harrisburg-Russellville loser vs. North Callaway-New Haven loser    6 p.m.

#Harrisburg-Russellville winner vs. North Callaway-New Haven winner    6 p.m.

#New Bloomfield-Montgomery Co loser vs. Hermann-South Callaway loser    6 p.m.

#New Bloomfield-Montgomery Co winner vs. Hermann-South Callaway winner    6 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 15

Bethel at Fulton SA    5 p.m.

Northwest at St. Clair    5:30 p.m.

@Washington-Patriettes loser vs. Helias-Sullivan loser    5:30 p.m.

@St. Charles West-Union loser vs. Borgia-Eureka loser    7 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 16

@Washington-Patriettes winner vs. Helias-Sullivan winner    5:30 p.m.

Providence at Fulton SA    5:30 p.m.

#Seventh-place game    6 p.m.

#Consolation game    6 p.m.

@St. Charles West-Union winner vs. Borgia-Eureka winner    7 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 17

@Seventh-place game    1 p.m.

#Third-place game    2 p.m.

@Consolation game    2:30 p.m.

@Third-place game    4 p.m.

#Championship    5 p.m.

@Championship    5:30 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    5:30 p.m.

Union at Warrenton    6 p.m.

Montgomery Co at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Duchesne at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Fulton SA at Liberty Christian    5 p.m.

Parkway West at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

New Haven at Wellsville    5:30 p.m.

Crosspoint at CAGSL    6 p.m.

O’Fallon Christian at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

@Union Tournament

#South Callaway Tournament


Friday, Dec. 26

Union, Pacific at Hillsboro Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 27

Union, Pacific at Hillsboro Tny    TBA

Monday, Dec. 29

Washington at Lindbergh Tny    TBA

Tuesday, Dec. 30

Washington at Lindbergh Tny    TBA

Wednesday, Jan. 7

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

Thursday, Jan. 8

Washington at Granite City    4:30 p.m.

Borgia at Hancock Tri-Meet    5 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 9

Washington at GAC Championships    TBA

Saturday, Jan. 10

Washington at GAC Championships    TBA

Tuesday, Jan. 13

Union at Liberty Quad    5 p.m.

Washington at Warrenton    6 p.m.

*Sullivan at Pacific    6 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 14

*Washington at Holt/Ft. Zumwalt East    6 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 15

Westminster at Pacific    6 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 16

Union at Branson    5 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 17

Borgia at Owensville Tny    9 a.m.

Washington, Pacific at 141 Rumble    TBA

Union at Branson Tny    TBA

Tuesday, Jan. 20

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

Union at Sullivan/St. James/Warrenton    5 p.m.

Girls Swimming

Wednesday, Jan. 7

Borgia at Kennedy    6:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 9

Borgia/Washington at MICDS    4:15 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 12

Borgia at DuBourg    6 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 15

Washington at Clayton    4:15 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 16

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

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Washington at Ft. Zumwalt East/Timberland    3:30 p.m.

*Conference Games