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

Football

Friday, Sept. 19

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

Cardinal Ritter at Borgia    7 p.m.

*St. Clair at Union    7 p.m.

*Pacific at Sullivan    7 p.m.

*Hermann at Owensville    7 p.m.

Ash Grove at St. James    7 p.m.

Cuba at Brentwood    7 p.m.

*St. Charles West at Warrenton    7 p.m.

South Callaway at Wright City     7 p.m.

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

Softball

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.

Volleyball

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