Craig's Corner — Time Has Come to Say Goodbye - The Missourian: Sports

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Craig's Corner — Time Has Come to Say Goodbye

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Posted: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 12:00 pm

“In life, and in sports, we all know that nothing lasts forever.”

Those words were spoken by Peyton Manning two years ago during his press conference announcing that he was leaving the Indianapolis Colts.

Manning, one of the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has ever known, is my favorite professional athlete who doesn’t play in St. Louis.

While I certainly don’t compare my time at The Missourian to Manning’s career with the Colts, I think that quote also can be used in my current situation.

After 17 1/2 years as a sports writer for The Missourian, I’ve decided the time has come to step away and try something else.

I’ve accepted a position with the Washington School District as communications and website content manager.

I’ll still be writing stories, taking pictures and doing website work, among other things, for the Washington schools.

Putting into words or writing a column about my time at The Missourian isn’t easy.

Where do I begin? What do I say? Who do I mention? Who will I accidentally leave out?

I can’t even begin to guess how many stories I’ve written for The Missourian and how many different students, coaches and teams I’ve covered over the years.

I’ve seen so many athletes, coaches and athletic directors come and go.

I wish I could mention everyone, but that would be impossible.

There are a few head coaches who have kept their positions during my entire time at The Missourian, which dates back to September of 1996.

Dale Gildehaus and Dave Neier of Borgia, John VanLeer and Jeff Reed of Pacific, Linda Birk and Allen Speckhals of Hermann and Ray Steinhoff of New Haven are the ones who come to mind.

Folks like Greg Dunigan, Chris Arand, Steve Neier, Dave Scheer, Bill Juengel, Scott Brown, Andy Herbst, Dino McKinney, Doris Jones, Bill Kimminau, Pete Jett, Gary Leimkuehler and John Covington also have been around during my entire Missourian career.

Another person who has been around the whole time is Bill Battle.

Bill and I rarely were at the same sporting event at the same time.

With such a large coverage area and only two sports reporters, we had a lot of ground to cover.

Most schools in the state and across the country don’t get the coverage that The Missourian gives area teams. I hope folks realize that.

Bill and I made a lot of personal sacrifices to make sure teams got the coverage we felt they deserved. Bill will no doubt keep that tradition going without me.

As far as events that I covered for The Missourian, I’ll never forget Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta, where the Rams defeated the Titans on “The Tackle” by Mike Jones.

I’ll always remember Washington’s trip to the state championship football game against Webb City in 2001 at the Edward Jones Dome. Not just that game, but the playoff games leading up to it were an incredible time.

Going to Mizzou to cover Borgia and New Haven basketball teams winning state championships is something I’ll never forget.

It was a blast covering the St. Clair and Pacific baseball teams during their respective third-place state finishes.

There were so many other sporting events that I was fortunate enough to cover, but I won’t mention.

One of the first things I covered at The Missourian was a Friday night football game at St. Clair. Dennis Lottmann was the Bulldogs’ head coach.

When I started at The Missourian, Jim Scanlan was the athletic director at Washington High School.

I remember a phone call I made to him back when I first started. I needed something and his response was, “Who are you again?”

We’ve gotten to know each other a lot better over the years. He’s like family now. I miss those punches to the arm he used to deliver to me when he was in better health.

In a way, Coach Scanlan reminds me a lot of my father, who passed away in 2002.

My co-workers at The Missourian were great to me during that time, as they were during my entire career.

I was given as much time off as I felt I needed. After a week, I wanted to get back into it.

The first game I covered after my dad died was a boys basketball game between Washington and Pacific. I think everyone in the gym came up to me and expressed their condolences. I also received tons of emails and cards. That’s the kind of community we have here.

When I got my job at The Missourian, my dad was more excited about it than I was.

The Missourian also has been gracious enough to sponsor my men’s slow-pitch softball team for the last several years.

I always cracked up when someone called me a photographer. I’m far from a photographer.

I’ve been lucky enough to capture a handful of great images during my time at the Missourian.

And I’ve also managed to miss one or two potentially great images that happened right in front of me.

Over the last 17 years, I’ve become an expert in beef cattle by covering the beef breeding show every year on Sunday morning at the Washington Town and Country Fair.

If the Fair ever needs a beef breeding judge, I’m available.

During my first year at The Missourian, a former co-worker asked me how long I thought I’d be working here.

“No more than five years,” I answered.

I was way off.

Never did I think it would be over 17 years.

The reason I stayed for so long is the people at The Missourian.

I can’t thank the Miller family enough for what they’ve done for me. Thanks to Bill Sr., Bill Jr., Jeanne and Sue.

I feel very lucky to have worked for them, as well as our managing editor, Ed Pruneau. All the other talented Missourian employees whose names you don’t see in the paper have been great to me and a pleasure to work with.

This community is unbelievably lucky to have a publication such as The Missourian.

It’s tough to leave, but change can be a good thing.

The truth is that this job can wear on you after a while.

As great as it is to cover sports for a living, it can become a grind. The older I got, the more I began to wonder how much longer I could be out every other night and every weekend covering games.

When a new opportunity presented itself, I felt like I had to take it.

I’ve met and have become friends with so many great people over the years. I hope to continue those relationships.

I’ll still be in the area and will attend a good amount of sporting events, as a spectator. Old habits die hard.

Good luck to everyone and thanks for the memories. It’s been a great 17 years.


Area Scoreboard

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North



Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter


Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1




Pool 2


North Tech


Monday, Nov. 24

CBC 77, Washington 52

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Cardinal Ritter vs. Rockwood Summit, PPD

Washington 63, Soldan 62

Borgia 83, Union 50

Wednesday, Nov. 26

Carnahan 71, Normandy 46

Pacific 64, Rockwood Summit 22

North Tech 67, Union 37

Thursday, Nov. 27

McCluer North 95 Carnahan 68

CBC 82, Soldan 55

Borgia 50, North Tech 45

Friday, Nov. 28

McCluer North 93, Normandy 39

Pacific 70, Cardinal Ritter 57

Saturday, Nov. 29

Blue Consolation — Rockwood Summit 47, Normandy 38

Gold Consolation — Soldan 78, Union 59

Gold Third Place — North Tech 63, Washington 57

Blue Third Place — Cardinal Ritter 71, Carnahan 46

Blue Championship — McCluer North 64, Pacific 58 (OT)

Gold Championship — CBC 67, Borgia 66

Boys Basketball

Monday, Dec. 8

Lutheran S 64, St. Clair 48

Borgia 61, Carnahan 51

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lafayette 44, Washington 35

Friday, Dec. 12

Potosi 72, St. Clair 45

*Washington 69, Ft. Zumwalt North 65

Montgomery Co 62, New Haven 61

*St. Mary’s at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Bourbon 75, Union 74

Glendale 63, Pacific 46

Saturday, Dec. 13

New Haven 46, Barat 40

Nixa 56, Pacific 46

Tuesday, Dec. 16

*Pacific 70, New Haven 35

*Hermann 67, St. Clair 49

*Ft. Zumwalt South 61, Washington 50

*Union 81, St. James 74

Friday, Dec. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Washington vs. Parkway Central, GAC/Suburban Shootout, St. Charles Family Arena, 5:30 p.m.

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Sullivan Shootout

Owensville vs. Rockwood Summit, 11:30 a.m.

St. Clair vs. Lindbergh, 1 p.m.

Jefferson City vs. Jackson, 2:30 p.m.

Washington vs. Lutheran South, 4 p.m.

Borgia vs. Poplar Bluff, 5:30 p.m.

Sullivan vs. Affton, 7 p.m.

Girls Basketball

Saturday, Dec. 6

Cor Jesu 63, Borgia 60

New Haven 46, Moberly 39

Monday, Dec. 8

Pacific 73, Rolla 40

St. Clair 68, Dixon 37

Washington 54, New Haven 15

Tuesday, Dec. 9

*Borgia 59, Rosati-Kain 38

Union 53, Northwest 44

Thursday, Dec. 11

*Borgia 60, Notre Dame 53

Union 81, Bourbon 53

Friday, Dec. 12

New Haven 45, Principia 30

*Washington 59, Ft. Zumwalt North 32

Saturday, Dec. 13

West Plains 76, Pacific 37

Monday, Dec. 15

*Pacific 46, New Haven 28

*St. Clair 59, Hermann 50

*St. James 64, Union 37

Sullivan Tournament

Cuba 48, Principia 27

Borgia 68, Patriettes 29

Sullivan 56, Pattonville 43

Owensville 78, Farmington 54

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Sullivan Tournament

Farmington 61, Pattonville 39

Sullivan 68, Owensville 64

Principia 55, St. Louis Patriettes 42

Borgia 56, Cuba 38

Thursday, Dec. 18

*St. James 72, New Haven 21

*Union 49, Pacific 48

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Francis Howell    7 p.m.

Sullivan Tournament

Seventh Place — Pattonville vs. St. Louis Patriettes, 4 p.m.

Consolation — Farmington vs. Principia, 5:30 p.m.

Third Place — Owensville vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.

Championship — Borgia vs. Sullivan, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.


Monday, Dec. 8

Maplewood 48, Borgia 30

Brentwood 47, Borgia 36

Winfield 48, St. Clair 36

St. Clair 42, St. James 40

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Pacific 55, North County 10

Jackson 63, Washington 12

Farmington 63, Washington 6

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Borgia 36, Lutheran St. Charles 34

Winfield 54, Borgia 30

Thursday, Dec. 11

Union 72, Ft. Zumwalt East 9

Union 52, Principia 30

Union 54, Winfield 27

Saturday, Dec. 13

Union Tournament    9 a.m.

Borgia at McCluer S-Berkeley Tny    9 a.m.

Pacific at Farmington Tny    9 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Owensville 61, St. Clair 16

Union 48, Owensville 27

Union 65, St. Clair 18

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 20

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Girls Swimming

Monday, Dec. 8

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Washington at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

LSC/OFC 134, Borgia 101, St. Dominic 83

Monday, Dec. 15

Borgia at Notre Dame (Forest Park)    4 p.m.

Kennedy 88, Washington 84

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Lindbergh 128, Washington 48

*Conference Games