Saturday, January 06, 2007


I hope everyone had a great Christmas vacation; mine was far, far too short. Most of it was centered around youth sports as both my sons played in the Tony Glavin Holiday tournament (3 games each) and my favorite daughter’s basketball team practiced no less the 4 times during the break.

Speaking of basketball, as poor as the recently completed high school football season was, and it was an unbelievably down season for both St. Charles schools as well as Duchesne, the basketball season might just be at its all time best.

Both Saint Charles and Duchesne traveled to Ladue to participate in the Mary Institute Country Day School Holiday Tournament, where the Pirates were defending champions. Duchesne started out with wins over Howell and Jennings before going heads up with the Pirates in semi-final action. The Pirates inside game was too much for the Pioneers as they topped their conference rival 57-47.

St. Charles went on to defeat Miller Career Academy in the championship game successfully defending their title, while the Pioneers dropped a 76-65 decision to Westminster in the 3rd place contest.

Any high school basketball junkie knows the premier holiday tournament is the Meramec Holiday Festival Tournament. Year in and year out it features the best large schools in the region; this year was no exception.

While High was winning the MICDS Tournament, which has been traditionally know for attracting smaller schools, West was taking on the “big boys” at Meramec. Schools such as Zumwalt West, Hazelwood Central, Lindbergh and Lafayette boast student enrollments over twice that of little ‘ole Saint Charles West – David and Goliath if ever there was such a case. The Warriors were undaunted as they defeated Eureka and Hazelwood Central, setting up a semi-final match between two undefeated teams – the Warriors and Webster Groves. The Warriors fell short conceding their first contest of the season 61-56.

In the third place contest the Warriors defeated DeSmet in a real nail-biter, 44-42.

Each of the three schools boast a true all-state caliber player: West has guard Kramer Soderberg, High has power forward Josh Harrelson, and Duchesne has sharp-shooting guard Zack Plackemeier. Yes, for high school basketball junkies, this is certainly a premier season.

While on the subject of basketball, I would like to wish a certain group of fifth grade girls from the Academy of the Sacred Heart good luck in their upcoming basketball season. Kayla Simon, Paige Theby, Sarah Heise, Emily Holloran, Grace Schwendemann, Hillary Padavan, Isabella Tambone, Madison Flynn, Elizabeth Francis, and of course my favorite daughter, Maggie McMurran, will need all the luck they can get. It is my first endeavor in coaching girls basketball – and I’m scared to death. I’ve coached some great high school football and basketball players, some of whom have gone on to play at the next level, but never have I coached girls. All kidding aside, the girls will do just fine, despite their coach. We’ve had four practices now and the girls cannot wait to play a real game.

Finally, a few people have contacted me and asked if I was serious about running for 4th ward councilman – I couldn’t be more serious. I will submit the paper work next week, and start my door-to-door campaign soon after. Anyone wishing to help or wanting a sign in their front yard feel free to contact me. I’ve already collected the 25 signatures and secured a campaign treasurer, Dr. Daniel Coogan – so I’m ready to go! It should prove to be rather interesting.