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

Week 10 Schedule Playoff Round 1

Friday, Oct. 24

Battle 56, Washington 8

Borgia 42, Kennedy 6

Union 55, Pacific 7

Priory 49, Sullivan 17

Salem 50, St. James 27

Southern Boone 40, Owensville 24

Hermann 36, Transportation and Law 6

Moberly 42, Warrenton 0

O'Fallon Christian 50, Wright City 12

Cuba 30, Jefferson 0

Saturday, Oct. 25

St. Clair at Westminster    2:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 17

Francis Howell N 24, Washington 20

Westminster 35, Borgia 14

*Union 35, Hermann 32

*St. Clair 26, Owensville 12

*Pacific 34, St. James 22

Helias 56, Sullivan 3

Ft. Zumwalt East 42, Warrenton 0

*Clopton-Elsberry 20, Wright City 0

Saturday, Oct. 18

Hogan Prep 49, Cuba 6

Friday, Oct. 10

Holt 21, Washington 14

Borgia 42, St. Clair 7

Union 68, St. James 20

Hermann 32, Pacific 24 (OT)

Sullivan 38, Owensville 12

Orchard Farm 28, Warrenton 3

Wright City 22, North Callaway 18

Father Tolton 35, Cuba 0

Softball

Sectional Games

Wednesday, Oct. 15

Bolivar 17, Sullivan 2

Mexico 5, Warrenton 4

Thursday, Oct. 16

Pacific 12, Rosati-Kain 0

Saturday, Oct. 18

Quarterfinal — De Soto 5, Pacific 2

District Tournaments

Softball

Class 4 District 4

Wednesday, Oct. 8

(4) Northwest 11, (5) Rolla 3

Saturday, Oct. 11

(1) Lafayette 3, Northwest 1

(2) Eureka 4, (3) Washington 0

Monday, Oct. 13

Championship — Eureka 5, Lafayette 0

Class 3 District 3

At Lutheran South

Wednesday, Oct. 8

(4) Affton 3, (5) Bishop DuBourg 2

(3) Pacific 21, (6) Bayless 0

Sunday, Oct. 12

(1) Lutheran South 11, Affton 1

Pacific 1, (2) Notre Dame 0

Championship — Pacific 2, Lutheran South 1

Class 3 District 7

At St. Dominic

Wednesday, Oct. 8

(4) Borgia 9, (5) Wentzville Liberty 8

(3) Winfield 15, (6) O’Fallon Christian 1

Saturday, Oct. 11

At Borgia

(1) St. Dominic 12, Borgia 3

(2) Warrenton 11, Winfield 2

Championship — Warrenton 1, St. Dominic 0

Class 3 District 9

At Sullivan

Wednesday, Oct. 8

(4) St. James 12, (5) Owensville 3

(3) Sullivan 11, (6) St. Clair 1

Saturday, Oct. 11

At Union High School

St. James 10, (1) Union 5

Sullivan 5 (2) Salem 4 (8 innings)

Championship — Sullivan 11, St. James 6

Class 2 District 10

At New Bloomfield

Wednesday, Oct. 8

(4) New Bloomfield 5, (5) Belle 0

(3) South Callaway 9, (6) Hermann 0

Saturday, Oct. 11

South Callaway 7, (2) Linn 2

(1) Fatima 6, New Bloomfield 1

Championship — Fatima 7, South Callaway 4

Class 1 District 4

At Community R6, Laddonia

Wednesday, Oct. 8

(4) Wellsville-Middletown 8, (5) New Haven 2

(3) Van-Far 4, (6) Community R6 2

Saturday, Oct. 11

(1) Clopton 13, Wellsville 0

(2) Silex 10, Van-Far 0

Championship — Silex 3, Clopton 0

Volleyball

District Tournaments

Class 4 District 3

At Rockwood Summit

Monday, Oct. 20

(4) Eureka def. (5) Pacific 25-9, 25-16

(2) Northwest def. (7) Parkway South, 25-18, 25-12

(3) Washington def. (6) Rockwood Summit, 25-21, 25-15

Tuesday, Oct. 21

(1) Lafayette def. Eureka, 17-25, 25-14, 25-19

Northwest def. Washington, 25-22, 25-18

Championship — Lafayette def. Northwest, 25-19, 25-20

Class 3 District 8

At Union

Monday, Oct. 20

(5) St. Clair def. (4) Union, 25-20, 25-22

(2) Sullivan def. (7) Salem, 25-7, 25-8

(3) Owensville def. (6) St. James, 14-25, 25-16, 25-19

Tuesday, Oct. 21

(1) Borgia def. St. Clair, 25-10, 25-6

Sullivan def. Owensville, 25-20, 20-25, 25-20

Championship — Borgia def. Sullivan, 25-7, 25-10

Class 2 District 6

At Lutheran St. Charles

Monday, Oct. 20

(4) Barat def. (5) Wright City, 25-16, 24-26, 25-22

(2) Hermann def. (7) Bowling Green, 25-12, 25-18

(3) Whitfield def. (6) Montgomery County, 25-23, 25-17

Tuesday, Oct. 21

(1) Lutheran St. Charles def. Barat, 25-10, 25-9

Whitfield def. Hermann, 23-25, 25-23, 25-15

Championship — Lutheran St. Charles def. Whitfield, 25-18, 25-14

Class 1 District 9

At Calvary Lutheran, Jefferson City

Monday, Oct. 20

(4) Smithton def. (5) Otterville, 25-12, 25-10

(3) Chamois def. (6) Bunceton, 25-23, 25-18

Tuesday, Oct. 21

(1) New Haven def. Smithton, 25-5, 25-7

(2) Calvary Lutheran def. Chamois, 25-14, 25-11

Thursday, Oct. 23

Championship — New Haven def. Calvary Lutheran, 25-9, 25-16

Sectional Matches Saturday, Oct. 25

Class 3

At Villa Duchesne

Villa Duchesne vs. St. Dominic, 3 p.m.

Borgia vs. Duchesne, 4:30 p.m.

Championship, 6 p.m.

Class 1

At New Haven

New Haven vs. Liberal, 3 p.m.

Green Ridge vs. Osceola, 4:30 p.m.

Championship, 6 p.m.

Boys Soccer

Saturday, Oct. 18

Washington 1, Borgia 0 (Penalty kicks)

Monday, Oct. 20

Washington 3, Sullivan 0

Fatima 3, Union 0

Pacific 6, De Soto 1

Tuesday, Oct. 21

ECC 4, Central Methodist JV 1

Fulton SA at Calvary Lutheran    4:30 p.m.

Union 3, Warrenton 0

Hancock 7, St. Clair 0

Rockwood Summit 2, Pacific 1 (PKs)

Bayless 3, Borgia 2 (2OT)

Wednesday, Oct. 22

St. Clair 2, Valley Park 0

Lutheran S 2, Washington 0

Windsor 4, Union 1

*Pacific 2, St. James 0

Thursday, Oct. 23

Ft. Zumwalt W 2, Washington 0

Belle 1, St. James 0

Borgia 1, Fatima 0

Pacific 6, St. Clair 0

District Tournaments

Class 4 District 8

At Washington

Monday, Oct. 27

(1) Timberland vs. (4) Washington, 5 p.m.

(2) Troy vs. (3) Holt, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 29

Championship, 5 p.m.

Class 3 District 3

At Rockwood Summit

Monday, Oct. 27

(2) Rockwood Summit vs. (3) Pacific, 5 p.m.

(1) Webster Groves vs. (4) Windsor, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 29

Championship, 6 p.m.

Class 3 District 9

At Union

Monday, Oct. 27

(1) Camdenton vs. (4) Union, 5 p.m.

(2) Helias vs. (3) Rolla, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 29

Championship, 6 p.m.

Class 2 District 7

At Winfield

Tuesday, Oct. 28

(1) Borgia vs. (4) Winfield, 4:30 p.m.

(2) O’Fallon Christian vs. (3) Elsberry, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 29

Championship, 5 p.m.

Cross Country

Saturday, Oct. 25

Borgia at Clayton Inv    9 a.m.

Washington at Class 4 District, Parkway Central, TBA

Boys Swimming

Thursday, Oct. 23

Borgia 105, Trinity 105, Lutheran/Christian 42

Saturday, Oct. 25

Borgia at MICDS Inv    7 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 28

Washington at GAC Meet    TBA

Wednesday, Oct. 29

*Borgia at Trinity    TBA

Washington at GAC Meet    TBA

*Conference Games

Racing News