Friday, October 29, 2010

The smartest guy in Southeast Missouri football (or at least in our contest)

When it comes down to spotting a winner, Hardknocks is the best of the best.

After 10 weeks in our first-ever (and likely the first annual) Cash Money Football Contest, Hardknocks has finished as a clear-cut winner after picking five of six games correct Thursday in our final week of the regular-season.

For that, a $100 bill awaits.

Hardknocks ended the season with 50 correct picks out of a possible 60. But it was close — bystander finished with 49 correct picks after going 4-of-6 in the final week.

The final week saw the biggest range of highs and lows this season — one person was 0-of-6, one was 6-of-6, and the rest were somewhere in-between.

The rest of the final leaders: z0e95 with 48, CW with 47, DJ and roundbelly with 46 apiece, headhunt and hb1025 with 45, billythekid and sportswiz with 44, jamiehall with 43, and daddy, epnation and officerpigskin with 42 each.

Thanks to everybody who joined us this season. It was exciting, it was fun and it was great motivation to come back this time next year and do it all over again.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Who's in, who's close and who's out in the district football race

A few things are certain going into the final week of the high school football regular season, but a handful of districts involving the area's 33 teams are still up for grabs.

Here's a rundown of each local race. District champions will host first-round playoff games on Nov. 3, and district runnersup will go on the road.

Class 1 District 1
It's Thayer's district to win or lose. The Bobcats will be heavy favorites to defeat Cabool this week and win outright. Hayti can clinch second place at 2-1 with a win over Portageville. Cabool can still win the district if it beats Thayer and if Portageville wins at Hayti.

Class 1 District 2
Valle Catholic and Chaffee are assured playoff spots. Their game this week will determine the champion and runnerup.

Class 2 District 1
This one is simple to figure out, too. Caruthersville has clinched the district title. East Prairie and Malden will play to determine second place this week.

Class 2 District 2
This one comes down to a district championship between Crystal City and Herculaneum this week, which both are 2-0. The winner is the champion, and the loser of that game finishes second.

Class 2 District 3
Grandview was eliminated with its 17-14 loss to Brentwood on Friday. Brentwood and Principia are 2-0 and will play to decide first and second place this week.

Class 3 District 1
Dexter and Fredericktown both are 2-0. They play Thursday to decide the champion and runnerup.

Class 3 District 2
Another simple one: Park Hills Central and Ste. Genevieve are playoff-bound, and they'll decide the district winner and second-place finisher in their game Thursday.

Class 3 District 7
Owensville has clinched the district championship. Osage and Salem will play Thursday for the second-place spot.

Class 4 District 1
Sikeston can win the district outright by defeating Farmington. Cape Girardeau Central can finish second by defeating Perryville. If Farmington and Central both win, three teams will finish in a first-place tie broken by the point system.

Class 4 District 2
This one is still wide open and could require math when it's all over. If DeSoto wins, it clinches the district at 3-0. If DeSoto and Potosi win, they go to the playoffs. If DeSoto and North County win, three teams will be tied for second at 1-2, requiring the point tie-breaker. If Hillsboro and North County win, then DeSoto and Hillsboro advance. If Potosi and Hillsboro win, three teams will be tied for first.

Class 4 District 3
Festus and Windsor are still alive in this one. Affton can go 3-0 with a win this week over Festus. If Affton and Windsor both win, they go to the playoffs. If Affton and DuBourg win, three teams will tie for second place at 1-2. If Festus and Windsor win, three teams will be tied for first, requiring the point system tie-breaker.

Class 5 District 1
This one gets tricky. Rockwood Summit can go 3-0 in the district with a win at Jackson. If Rockwood Summit and Seckman both win, Jackson is eliminated. If Rockwood Summit and Poplar Bluff win, then Rockwood Summit is the champion; three teams would be tied for second place, and the point system would be used (this scenario is Poplar Bluff's only way into the playoffs). If Jackson and Poplar Bluff win, Jackson wins the district. If Jackson and Seckman win, three teams would be tied for first place at 2-1, and the tie-breaker would be used.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's time to pick an MVP

It's not easy picking the 10 most valuable high school football players in Southeast Missouri, and it'll be even harder to pick just one.

But your input and feedback — along with opinions of a few coaches and athletes across the area — has helped us put together a list of 10 nominees for the fourth annual SEMO MVP Award, and we'll have at least three weeks to decide the best of the bunch.

The first thing you might notice when you see the list is that several really, really good athletes in our 33-team area aren't there, and that's what made this list nearly impossible to create. Dozens of names were tossed around for almost a month, and about 25 athletes on offense and defense were seriously considered before the last round of cuts.

Our final survey could have included 20 names. It almost included 12, but it was narrowed down to the original goal of 10 late Wednesday. And trust me, it was painful to remove anybody from the list.

But now the next choice is all yours, and we'll keep the voting open until each of ouru 10 nominees complete the season (including playoffs).

For the winner (with MSHSAA regulations in mind) we'll hand over a pretty cool engraved plaque and add his name to our three-person list of SEMO MVPs so far.

To make your pick and see the list of nominees, follow this link to our SEMO MVP Award page.

To join the discussion about our award, follow this link to our forum.

And always, I welcome any comments or feedback, too. E-mail me at

Thursday, October 14, 2010

One week to go before we start deciding a SEMO Football MVP

Trying to figure out the single best high school football player in Southeast Missouri is a tough task - and so far just picking out the list of 10 finalists is a test in itself.

Here's where we stand: So far, it appears that Cameron Carey of Thayer, Vohland Fonda of Caruthersville, Zach Hibbits of Farmington, Trey Lewis of Sikeston and G'Darius Stevenson of NMCC all are on the final ballot for the fourth annual SEMO Football MVP Award. That's the survey that we open up to fans every season to determine who, in your opinion, is the best football player among our region's 33 teams.

The poll will go on our site next week and will stay up through the playoffs, but we still have to fill the final five spots. And that's the tough part.

At Malden, Tanner Murphy and Quentin Jackson are a tough pass-receiver combo that have helped make the Green Wave a playoff contender.

Cape Girardeau Central, Jackson, Sikeston and Valle Catholic are a combined 27-1 with athletes on offense and defense that are sure to make all-state lists and future college rosters.

Quarterbacks like Adam Grantham, Matt Marler and Brendan Weiler have passed for more than 4,300 yards in all and have been crucial parts of the offense.

Garett Schaefer of Scott City lacks size but makes up for it in quickness at Scott City, where he's run for more than 1,000 yards this season.

The list goes on - in fact, the list of athletes near or beyond 1,000 yards of offense this season grows each week. Mention tackles, sacks and fumble recoveries and we've got a whole new set of top-level athletes.

But we're closing in on a list of 10, and this is where your opinion can make the difference. Click on our message board and chime in with your opinion. Let us know who should make the list and who shouldn't, then check back next week to see the final 10 and make your MVP pick.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Week 7 was way too easy for our wise guys

I had a feeling the Week 7 choices in our Cash Money Football Contest seemed easy on paper, but I had no idea that almost everybody in the contest would go 6-for-6.

But it happened. In fact, all but one of our football experts were 6-for-6, even though a couple of games almost ruined the perfect night (Portageville and Caruthersville both had to rally to win at home, and Potosi scored in the final 10 seconds to win).

The one holdout who spoiled a clean 6-for-6 sweep for our panel: Me. I picked Grandview in a Saturday upset over Crystal City, but it didn't happen.

So that leaves the standings almost unchanged from last week as we count down the final three weeks of football picks. There's a $100 prize for the winner.

But enjoy that easy week, gang. This week's lineup includes Hayti-Thayer, Cape Central-Farmington, Poplar Bluff-Jackson and Malden-Caruthersville. It's time to get your thinkin' caps out. I'll get those game posted in our forum by the end of the day Sunday.

The leaders after Week 7:

1. hardknocks, 36
2. zoe95, 35
3. bystander, 34
3. cw, 34
3. epnation, 34
3. headhunt, 34
7. billythekid, 33
7. bystander, 33
7. roundbelly, 33
10. dj, 32
10. officerpigskin, 32
10. sportswiz, 32
13. jamiehall, 31
14. daddy, 30
14. hb1025, 30
16. mutigers, 29

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The SEMO MVP voting starts in two weeks — who makes the cut?

The list of 10 nominees for the SEMO MVP Award for local high school football is coming together slowly but surely, but we're still looking to fill the final five spots on the ballot before the poll goes onto the site for voting in two weeks.

Our fourth annual survey goes live on the site Oct. 19, and fans can cast a vote for their MVP pick until every local teams finishes its playoff season. The poll will close immediately after that final game.

So far, five names have emerged from a very talented list among our region's 33 teams. The five who appear to be locks on the list of 10 are:

1. Cameron Carey, a Thayer running back who leads the region in rushing yards this season.
2. Vohland Fonda, a running back who has become Caruthersville's No. 1 weapon on offense.
3. Zach Hibbits, a quarterback who has led his Farmington team to a 6-0 start.
4. Trey Lewis, a quarterback whose speed makes him equally tough on the run for Sikeston.
5. G'Darius Stevenson, a quarterback who has excelled during NMCC's rough season.

Unless something dramatic changes, those five will be on the list. But that means we have five spots left open.

We have a discussion going on The Board to see who should fill the last spots, so click the link, add your opinion and see who else is being mentioned.

Be sure to check back starting Oct. 19 to cast your vote.

Two changes at the top in list of SEMO football leaders

There are two changes at the top of the SEMO football leaders list this week.

Cameron Carey of Thayer has moved into the top spot of the leading rushers category this week. His 941 yards were good enough to climb to first ahead of G'Darius Stevenson of NMCC and Jacob Farmer of Fredericktown.

Click here for the full list, which includes the area's top 10 rushers, top five passers and top five receivers updated Monday.

There's also a change at the top of the list of receivers, where Quentin Jackson of Malden has moved to the front with 512 yards. Jonathan Bird of Farmington sits at No. 2, and Janeil Hatchett of Sikeston is third.

Among quarterbacks, Zach Hibbits of Farmington remains at the top of the list. Adam Grantham of Kennett is second, and Brendan Weiler of Ste. Genevieve is third. They're among five quarterbacks who have topped 1,000 yards passing after six weeks.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Former Kelly coach continues to recovery from burns

A couple of weekend notes:

Nick Lanpher is doing well in rehabiliation as part of his recovery from burns he suffered in an accident in late August. Lanpher, who coached boys basketball at Kelly for almost 20 years, has undergone multiple surgeries and skin grafts as part of his recovery, but he's on track to be released from the hospital by Oct. 19. That's much sooner than expected, according to family members.

In the meantime, cards are welcome at Skyline Medical Center, 3441 Dickerson Pike, Nashville, TN 37207, Room No. 309. Family members have set up a Facebook page to help spread word of the former coach's recovery.

Tim Almany of Festus and Brian Jennings of Bernie are the first two winners of our See-Text-Win t-shirt giveway. How they did it: Both attended high school varsity games, sent us the score via text message and were automatically entered into the weekly drawing. Both will get a SemoSportsWeb t-shirt in the mail in the next week.

We'll be giving away lots more t-shirts all through the high school season. Click here for details on how to win.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

One football expert pulls ahead in our Cash Money Contest

For the first time all season, there's a clear-cut leader in the race for $100 cash in our Cash Money Football Contest.

Football guru hardknocks went 5-of-6 in Friday's games, and that puts him solely in first place with 30 correct guesses out of a possible 36 this season.

Nobody was a perfect 6-of-6 Friday, but nine of our masterminds correctly picked five games. Park Hills Central's win over Hillsboro stumped most of us, and so did Potosi's win over Fredericktown.

Next week's games will be posted in The Board by the end of the day Sunday.

After six weeks, here's the lead pack with four weeks left before we decide the winner:

1. hardknocks, 30
2. zoe95, 29
3. bystander, 28
3. cw, 28
3. epnation, 28
3. headhunt, 28
7. billythekid, 27
7. bystander, 27
7. roundbelly, 27
10. dj, 26
10. jamiehall, 26
10. officerpigskin, 26
10. sportswiz, 26
14. daddy, 24
14. hb1025, 24
16. mutigers, 23