Does it ever seem like time is moving too fast?
If so, this isn’t the moment to make that realization. The Washington Town and Country Fair just ended Sunday. Yet, we will have interschool scrimmages starting Thursday, marking another major progression step for area fall sports teams.
When the defending Four Rivers Conference champion Pacific soccer Indians step onto the field at Hillsboro High School against Parkway West, it will mark another major milestone.
We’re moving closer and closer to the start of games next week. The first football games are Aug. 18 and everything goes from there.
Looking at the list of jamborees, there are many that jump out. I’m sure football fans will be interested in seeing what their teams have to offer this season. Some have had scrimmages already, but this Friday marks the start of the real hitting. The gem among the jamborees will be at Washington High School, where the Blue Jays will host Borgia, Cardinal Ritter and SLUH. That’s a smattering of schools from Class 6 all the way down to Class 2. It should be an interesting evening of football. I would expect some of the hardest hitting to come between Washington and Borgia. That’s how it usually works. The players, many of them friends, only get this one chance to pop the pads during the season.
In other jamborees, Pacific is at Sullivan, Union goes to Rolla and St. Clair visits Jefferson (Festus).
The jamborees can be a double-edged sword. On the positive side, a coaching staff can mine a mother lode of information about game plans and who performs well under pressure.
On the negative side, you can have injuries. Borgia had that happen last year as prospective quarterback Spencer Hunter was knocked out for the year. The whole jamboree then had a rushed feeling as one school was late and a thunderstorm was approaching. The teams were lucky to get some action in before the rain hit.
I know there’s some talk about practices being pushed back to a week later next year (which would be after the Fair), and that would push the football season into December and past its traditional Thanksgiving Weekend end. Knock out the jamborees and they would be back on schedule. Another option would be to start the playoffs in Week 9. There’s a solution out there. It’s up to the schools to find what works.
Another Friday jamboree is at Lakeview Park, where the Washington Lady Jays host Rolla and Waynesville starting at 4 p.m. Washington finished fourth in Class 4 last season and returns many key players.
If you’re looking for a local jamboree Saturday morning, Union will host Borgia, Sullivan and Hancock starting at 9 a.m. Get there at the beginning if you want to see Union and Borgia face each other.
I believe both teams have a lot of question marks for this season. Graduation hit both teams in key areas, but there are a lot of younger players who are eager to make a mark.
Union’s Josh Wideman and Borgia’s John Clark are both newer coaches who were solid players for their respective schools and are looking to instill the past traditions into the new players.
I ran across a photo of Clark in an old Missourian when researching Borgia’s 1998 run to the state tournament. The team’s goalkeeper was Matt Pickens, then a junior. Now, Pickens is a veteran professional who recently celebrated 100 matches for the Tampa Bay Rowdies in USL.
The Rowdies are coming to St. Louis to play at the World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton Sunday. The game is slated to kick off at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are on sale.
I think many knew there were great things ahead for Pickens in a previous visit to the soccer park. In 1998, he came up huge in stopping a St. Dominic penalty kick in the final 30 seconds of a Class 1A-3A quarterfinal game to send Borgia to its first-ever state tournament.
After college, Pickens forged an impressive professional career. He won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with the Chicago Fire and the MLS Cup with the Colorado Rapids. He has played abroad and has been in the U.S. Men’s National Team camp multiple times. Sunday will mark the first time he will be playing in St. Louis as a pro, however.
We’ve got a number of area athletes doing big things in the professional world. Brock Olivo, a Borgia graduate, makes his preseason debut as special teams coordinator of the Denver Broncos Thursday night. The game will be broadcast on NFL Network with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Kathleen Scheer, a New Haven graduate, was named the defensive player of the year in the South East Australia Basketball League. Scheer also was named to the all-league first team for the fifth year in a row.
Scheer has made her name as one of the top women’s basketball players in Tasmania with the Hobart Chargers. She’s also played in the WNBL in that country.
There’s another move for Washington High School graduate Scott Suggs. A past Mr. Show Me Basketball, Suggs has played professionally in France, Spain and in the NBA D League and NBA Summer League. He recently signed to play this season for New Basket Brindisi in the Italian Lega Basket Serie A.
Brendan Feldmann, a Borgia and Post 218 graduate, has been impressive in his professional baseball career so far. Feldmann was signed by the Houston Astros this summer after helping Lindenwood to the NCAA Division II College World Series. With the Houston’s Gulf Coast League Rookie team, Feldmann has been used as a reliever so far. Over seven games, he’s recorded one save with a 0.93 ERA. Feldmann has thrown 9.2 innings while allowing six hits, one walk and one hit batter. He’s struck out nine.
Feldmann was a member of the last Post 218 Senior Legion team to win a state title in 2012. That year, Washington traveled to New Orleans to play in the Mid-South Regional. This year, the regional returned there and had even worse weather issues. Not only did the regional have to be moved from Kirsch-Rooney Stadium to Jesuit High School’s turf complex, but ended up needing two more venues before the Bryant Post 298 Black Sox of Arkansas won the right to go to Shelby, N.C.
Bryant defeated Ada, Okla., in the championship game. The Missouri champion, Jefferson City Post 5, won its first game before losing to Ada and Columbia, Tenn., to be eliminated.