Friday, January 18, 2008

MIKE MCMURRAN First Capitol News Sports Editor

Happy New Year everyone, I hope 2008 finds everyone happy and health. Today’s column will be an old fashion “stream of consciousness” style of narrative. It’s a device I learned while studying English at UMSL – I think it might even officially be a literary device. I suspect I asked more questions that anyone else in most of my classes – I remember like it was like yesterday asking the dear old professor if he could break the term stream of consciousness down for me and explain it on a level even I could understand. He responded, “It’s the continuous unedited chronological flow of conscious experience through the mind.” Yep, that’s exactly what he said. I remember it so very clearly, because in my mind I though, (a) that’s a totally b.s. answer, and (b) b.s. is exactly what stream of consciousness really is – at least to us lay folk. Now when I must deal with those highly educated in the English language – you know the type, those who know when to use who or whom – or is it, those whom know when…I think you get the idea.

Is it just me or is buying your child an Officially Licensed Cardinal Baseball Jersey a bad investment? Last Christmas, that would be Christmas 2006, with the Cardinals’ World Series win fresh on the minds of both my sons, both asked Santa Claus for Cardinal jerseys. Joe, because he plays mostly third base for his team, the Titans, naturally wanted a Scott Rolen jersey. Dee, on the other hand, wanted a David Eckstein jersey – mostly because Joe didn’t. So on Christmas morning, both boys opened their gifts, and both received the respective jersey they had asked for. We are now the proud owner of two, Officially Licensed Cardinal Baseball Jerseys, of player who no longer play for the Cardinals. I don’t mean to be an angry old man about the whole situation, but Joe is going to wear his Scott Rolen jersey until he out grows it, at which time Dee will wear it.

Might I suggest, what we are going to do in the McMurran family, is only buy Officially Licensed Cardinal Baseball Jerseys of players retired, and quiet possibly in the Hall of Fame. Of course there would be two exceptions; if either of my boys wanted to wear a “McCarver #15,” jersey, or a “Maris #9,” I would be more than happy to purchase it for them, as they were my two favorite Cardinals as a child.

You’ve less than two months to watch one of the greatest high school basketball players every to come out of Saint Charles County – Kramer Soderberg. In case you’ve been living in a cave, Kramer has been rewriting the record book at St. Charles West – which arguably has the most storied record book in Saint Charles County. Not only has Kramer climbed the ladder into the top 100 scorers in the history of high school basketball in the entire state of Missouri, he is only the third player in the history of Saint Charles County to crack the elusive 2000 point plateau. Ironically, the last player from the county to reach 2,000 was St. Charles West’s very own Ryan Robertson, who scored 2,751 points during his four-year career in the mid-1990s. It seems unlikely Soderberg will top Robertson’s mark, but don’t underestimate this young man. He really is something special to watch. He currently is leading his team to a 16-1 record – against a schedule with the likes of Hazelwood Central, Webster Groves, McCluer and C.B.C., all of whom have fallen to the Warriors. January 29th is a red letter day, as the Warriors will travel to Zumwalt South (14-2) and hope to pay the Bulldogs back for their only blemish this season.
It seems the sport of basketball has crept into a rather significant spot on the McMurran family calendar. Maggie is playing for her school in the Saint Charles County CYA – her team is doing rather well. As a matter of fact, they have advanced to the Championship Game of the Assumption (O’Fallon, MO) Sixth Grade Girls Invitational Tournament. Maggie is not the star, she contributes her 2 points per game and plays a ferocious defense. We have quite the point guard in Elizabeth Francis – who is really fun to watch. She is turning into quite the basketball player, so much so a fan at the Assumption Tournament wanted to know where she was going to play high school ball. As a former high school a.d., such talk is illegal and dangerous. I know what school the gentleman was from, but will not divulge the information. It really does turn my stomach.

More basketball – this time 4th grade boys from Saint Charles City. Now, this isn’t my idea, I simply overheard it and have been pondering the idea in my head. The gentleman who shared it with me probably knows of what he speaks, as he played his college football at Iowa – advancing all the way to the Rose Bowl. To paraphrase him: every now and then there is just a banner year for a region, or a state, in terms of athletic ability. I suspect I can present arguments both in favor and against his idea. However, if he is right, look out for the class of 2016. In the recently completed Sixth Annual Holy Rosary 4th Grade Boys Basketball Tournament – the entire championship game was made up of St. Cletus – that’s right, St. Cletus (team Briscoe) played St. Cletus (Soderberg/Hash) in the title game. Out of a field of 16 teams, they rose to the top – with Briscoe’s team crowned the champion. I know most people are going to think I’m talking out of, well, most are going to think I’m talking over my head, but remember the following names: Alex Moore, Andy Witte, Ryan Bloomfield, Cole Ziesler, Ryan Briscoe, Tony Morris, Shane Ray and Austin Ray. These boys play for Jim Briscoe and took home the First Place Trophy. Suiting up for coaches Brad Soderberg and Lance Hash were Davis Soderberg, Christopher Rehagen, Jake Hearst, Hunter Eisenbath, Shane Loewenstein, Ian McConnaha, Tyler Hash, Lloyd Bussell, James Quiggins and Jonathan Haupert. It seems Brad Soderberg could not be present for all the games, so he had Lance Hash, one of my favorite people on earth, fill in for him. Of course that may explain their second place finish.

If that wasn’t impressive enough, the third place finishing team also came from beautiful downtown St. Charles. Dr. Dan Coogan’s Academy of the Sacred Heart’s team lost only to St. Cletus – holding them to a two year offensive low. Proudly wearing the Red, Black and White of ASH were Andrew Clark, Sean Coogan, Ryan Hasenbeck, Andrew Heying, Joe McMurran, Griffen Plamer, Nathan Smith, Alex Solomon and Jack Wilke.

Not only do these boys compete against each other in basketball, they’ve been butting heads in soccer since kindergarden. The baseball season finds Andrew Clark playing with the Cletus group and Hash playing with the Sacred Heart group – more times than not in a very competitive game – often times for a tournament title.

I’m not sure which, if any of the Cletus boys play football, but August thru November will find Joe McMurran playing for O’Fallon Jr. Renegades and Griffen Palmer and Alex Solomon suiting up for Chesterfield.

And that my friends, is an example of stream of consciousness. See ya.