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Column: Leopold boys basketball team has sights set on first district title

Posted Wednesday, February 6, 2013, at 2:29 AM

The seniors on the Leopold boys basketball team played their final game on their small home floor, tucked inside their undersized gym Tuesday night.

"Playing in a blueberry? A blueberry factory? Kind of like 50 shades of blue?," joked Leopold senior Brandon Jansen when I asked him what is was like to play in the gym.

It's true that the gym features multiple shades of blue, though not as many as it used to. It's also true that it's a hard place for opponents to play and a hard place to walk away from when you're a Wildcat.

"It was really emotional," said senior and leading scorer Kyle Stroder, who had to wipe away tears more than once during the course of the night. "You put all that work and effort into it, and it's just hard to watch it go, so it was really emotional.

"I love playing here. All the fans here -- I think they're the best fans around."

There were few empty seats and plenty of people standing along the court's edges as Leopold cruised to a routine 75-31 victory over Puxico.

No joke. That kind of win has been the routine for Leopold this season.

The Wildcats won their 20th game of the season Tuesday night. They've won those games by an average of almost 37 points while being beaten just twice.

Both losses came at the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament where they lost to Notre Dame by five points on Day 2 before delivering their most disappointing performance of the season a day later in a 14-point loss to Advance, a team they later beat by 11 on its home floor.

Twenty-win seasons used to be a big deal around Leopold, which doesn't have much basketball history to brag about.

But things have changed in the past few years. With accomplishments like being the first team to ever have back-to-back 20-wins season behind them -- this year actually marks five in a row -- the players have their sites set on more ambitious firsts.

"We still got our 20-win season, which is pretty good, but I feel like this year more people were after us than we were after them," Jansen said. "It's a different setting when you play a game."

There are a lot of banners hanging on the Leopold gym's blue walls.

There are seven noting the storied volleyball program's trips to the final four. Another one that lists all 23 years the volleyball team has won a district title. There's one for the 26 volleyball conference titles, one for the 12 basketball conference titles, one for the four conference and one district baseball championship and even one for the spring softball team's one conference win.

That's it. There's no banner for basketball district titles because no Leopold basketball team has ever won a district championship.

But this year's team, which moved up to the No. 2 spot in the latest state poll, will be the favorite to win one this year even with four-time defending state champion Scott County Central serving as tournament host.

"The first goal is to win the first district title here," Stroder said. "Then however far we can get after that. We don't set limits for ourselves. We know we just can't make any excuses this year."

No excuses. Not even one about how the team's second-leading scorer might not play again this season.

Senior Joe Elrink, who was averaging 13.9 points and 5.3 rebounds, broke a bone in his wrist during a Jan. 22 win against Chaffee and has been told he'll need eight weeks to heal.

The Wildcats eeked out a two-point win at Oran in their first game without Elfrink and have settled back into their routine since, routing Zalma, Meadow Heights and Puxico.

Leopold has two games on the road next week before the team officially will be able start work on adding a new banner to the gym.

Even Jansen couldn't joke about what that would mean to him.

"It would be the biggest honor anybody could have, just to be the first in something that the school's never had before," he said. "It'd definitely be different."

Stroder had a similar sentiment.

"That would mean a lot. That'd mean everything to me, and I know that would mean everything to this team. We'd be remembered in history here forever."

I asked Stroder, a four-year varsity starter with a mature perspective, if he thought young boys at Leopold might look up to the example he and his teammates have set.

"I try to set a good example for them, but I hope they look up to me and say they want to be better than me someday," he said. "I don't want them to settle. I just hope that they want the same thing and they keep representing Leopold well."

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Good piece Rachel. Leopold has a very good team this year. They should be proud of how hard the must have work to become this good. But with winning there also should come humility and grace. I'm talking about the 121 to 41 whipping the gave Marquand. I'm not blaming the kids they are young men. I blame their coach for running up the score. First I'm not from Marquard I'm from Puxico and we also got beat soundly last night by about 40 points with a running clock. Good teams that win games by a 40 or 50 point spread against a weaker team is not that unusual. Winning by 80 points while scoring 121 point puts a shameful light on Andy Beck's coaching and the 2012/2013 Leopold team. Good luck to Leopold and I only hope their coach learns the difference in winning basketball games and teaching young men lessons about degrees of winning

-- Posted by bobmar2013 on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 12:58 PM

It seems like Leobold is used to playing in a small gym and struggle in a large gyms (Showme Center). They need to solve that if they are going to make it all the way to Columbia. That was said about Risco last year, not being used to playing in a gym as big as Dexters.

-- Posted by igobybob on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 1:01 PM

dude, I would say that they probably used similar strategies last night once up by enough as they did against Marquand. The difference is Puxicos talent level is much greater than Marquands. I don't think you can tell your subs who never get to play, "hey go in there and miss shots on purpose an stall the last 2 quarters." Leopold starters played very little against Marquand. I would say no starter played more than 15 minutes. It is more embarrassing to an opposition if its obviously the other team is a screwing up intentionally.

-- Posted by Thot McGee on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 1:02 PM

I don't think there is any reason to keep the score close. Part of having a good Class 1 team is winning some games by large margins. Scott County Central has done the same thing over the last decade.

-- Posted by Dustin Ward on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 1:24 PM

Sportsnerd.. Once the game is in hand say winning by 50 points all you are really doing to showing disrespect to the losing team. Although not being there himself you can't tell me that whoever was playing being the 2nd string the coach shouldn't have back off He could have played a tight zone on defense and told them not to fast break or try to steal the ball All I'm saying the main goal is to win the game not to humiliate the losing team ...

Dustin.... As I said in my first comment winning by 40 or 50 points is common and ok but slapping 121 points with an 80 point spread is just not the right thing to do. No matter who has done it in the past. Dustin with your analogy of saying Scott County Central has done the same thing is like saying gunning down people in public places is ok because it's been done before. When the game is in hand the coach should back off

-- Posted by bobmar2013 on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 3:46 PM

I can assure you they did the two things you just said.. have u watched Marquand?

-- Posted by Thot McGee on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 4:28 PM

Bobmar2013...so what your saying that if a team is winning by a large margin they should give up doing their best? Dont you want a team to do their best at all times even if they are winning? If they wanted to humiliate the losing team why did they put in the second string. The second string hardly gets to play and this was their chance to do their best as well not just poke around.

-- Posted by deb2358 on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 4:41 PM

deb2358 Yes I'm saying it's the coach that at that time [when a team is winning by 50] to tell his team to stop running up the score. Baseball has a mercy rule perhaps basketball needs one. Once up by 50 in the second half game over. Deb stop and think if your child was on the wrong side of the 121/41 score you would properly be singing a different tune It's always fun to watch your son, or grandson on a good team come off the bench and outplay the other team with little talent but at some time you must show some mercy for them

-- Posted by bobmar2013 on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 5:36 PM

Good grief.

-- Posted by Larry Doby on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 6:14 PM

I agree bobmar2013, they could have passed the ball around a certain number of times each offensive possession before shooting, noone gets bet6er by embarrassing inferior opponnents.

-- Posted by kdjones on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 6:16 PM

I wish all of you couldve witnessed this game so you could shut up.. They didn't do anything disrespectul, they used sportsmanship, and it isn't fair to the 9-13 guys on the roster that practice their tails off everyday and never get to play, to have to go in and stall and miss on purpose and be a statue.

-- Posted by Thot McGee on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 6:25 PM

Leopold has been on the other side of these lopsided losses for DECADES!!! A little payback for the teams that have blown out the Wildcats for as long as I can remember is nothing more than a little sweet revenge. Teams have good years, and then they have bad years. That's part of the game. Congratulations to Leopold on their fifth consecutive 20 win season. I remember the days when it took five consecutive seasons to get a TOTAL of 20 wins!! I noticed on the MSHSAA website that Leopold was awarded the top seed in Class 1 District 2. I'm certain that's a first in Wildcat history. Keep up the great work. We're all cheering for the first ever district title!!!

-- Posted by sikte513 on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 7:09 PM

remind you this, they can go back on the other side, you do not have to do to others as they do unto you

-- Posted by kdjones on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 7:53 PM

If you don't want to get beat by 50 do something about it. Making kids not compete doesn't send a very good message in life. Hey don't try anymore guys cause you are winning. Leopold should feel no shame in playing the game hard. It's basketball guys. Maybe they should just hand participant trophies out to Puxico and Marquand. This is life people suck it up

-- Posted by baseball12 on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 8:19 PM

Congratulations for getting the number one seed in your district Leopold. I've check your district along with district 1,3,and 4. It looks to be a pretty easy ride to the final four for you guys Best of luck.

-- Posted by bobmar2013 on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 9:06 PM

1st & Last?

-- Posted by NeverWasBeen on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 9:33 PM

Baseball12... This isn't a major league you can't draft player or pay them to come play at your school Good high school teams come an go. Just has sikte513 said in his comments. He remembers your bad years. As this news article stated Leopold has never won a district title. Well that's a pretty long time I'm sure Leopold been on the losing side of lopsided ballgames. I hope in those ballgames the winning coach had enough compassion to let up. Nobody is complaining about losing by 50 but as I said before winning by 80 with the score 121/41 is really not good sportsmanship on your coaches part. My complaint is not with the Leopold team it's with the coach.

-- Posted by bobmar2013 on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 9:40 PM

Bob why not talk to him instead of hiding your identity and bashing on him.... That game was not that bad, if he wanted to he could have pressed and kept his starters in and beat them easily by over a hundred. That coach subbed early, backed up their defense and sat back in a zone. They ran offense and moved the ball until they got layups. They were told by the coach to not dunk and not do anything unsportsmanlike. The players were respectful and just took easy baskets the defense gave up. When Marquand played Leopold's JH this year Marquand won by over 30 and never took the starters out and never stopped pressing so I think Coach Beck was very sportsmanlike in subbing and not pressing. They could have sent a message and won by 100+ but coach showed class by not doing that. You weren't at the game so you can't say anything. If you have a problem please speak to the Coach and not try to make him look bad on the Internet behind a fake name.

-- Posted by abcd on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 10:21 PM

Sounds like a bunch of sour grapes. I'm not from Leopold have no ties to Leopold. Actually never been to the town. I know the coach would never be disrespectful to another team. At the end of the day you just have to take your beat down and live to fight another day. How many times at the Christmas Tournament have you seen lopsided scores it happens. Get over it. Maybe Leopold should have just shot in Puxico's basket. Then that would be degrading as well. Some people worry about the little things.

-- Posted by baseball12 on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 10:50 PM

abcd... Coach Beck sent a message I'm not the one that is making coach Beck look bad. Anybody that saw the final score 121/41 with an 80 point lead knows that's not the way you should allow your team to play . You back off and do whatever you should to stop a huge lopsided game. They didn't need any more easy baskets. Once the lead got past 50 you past the ball around. Don't shoot. Foul a guy so he goes to the line and eats up a couple minutes with a running clock. He could have slow the team down more then he did and chose not to. That's not sportsmanship. The problem here is knowing when a team is beat and you have the win so you back off

-- Posted by bobmar2013 on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 11:05 PM

So it wouldn't be disrespectful passing a ball around and having a bad team chase you all over the court looking foolish for minutes at a time?? If I'm correct most coaches are hired to get their team to be the best they can be. No matter what the score they can get better at running offense, communicating, rotating, reading one another, fixing timing issues. So why get on a team or coach for doing their job?? Why not blame the bad team for not doing their job. Good teams and good coaches find ways to improve whether they are up 50 or down 50 there is always something you can get better at. You don't even know the coach or the team so how can you know their intentions?? Those bench guys needs to play too and maybe they needed to work on developing depth you know so when they play on these larger floors they have subs who have game experience and confidence... So when you are at work bob when you do a great job the first half of the day do you just say that's good enough; and just coast the rest of the day? Or do you keep working hard to improve yourself and your piece of work?

-- Posted by abcd on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 11:15 PM

baseball12... This has nothing to do with the Leopold/Puxico game. Leopold beat us soundly and was very good about their win. If anything was bad it was when a Puxico player got called for a much needed technical foul and got kick out of the game. So no sour grape about last night game. We got beat by a very good Leopold team that should go on to win their district and properly make it to the final four

-- Posted by bobmar2013 on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 11:23 PM

The bench could have won the Marquand game by 50 bobmar, not the coaches fault.

-- Posted by mm81 on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 7:11 AM

And by the way, awesome column Rachel!!

-- Posted by mm81 on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 7:12 AM

You would think if someone was going to complain it would be someone from MZ. Just sayin'.

-- Posted by Larry Doby on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 7:34 AM

good job leopold !!!I am from SCC and if we play each other in districts and your ahead by 30-40-50 whatever,Please don't let up..show us what you got!!!!because I agree with baseball12,if you don't want to get your #$% beat by 50 do something about it and quit whinninnnnnng...

-- Posted by DA#1OLDCAT on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 7:58 AM

Great Column Rachel. You do a great job!

bobmar2013 If you wasn't at the game you have no idea of what took place. I don't like your attitude toward our coach andy beck! He has more class than you probably have in your little finger. They pulled the press off and just played good defense. The bench players came in and played really well. You can't fault them for that. It wasn't that marquand wasn't getting up the floor. The shots wasn't falling for them. That can't be blamed on leopold. You are just looking at the score and thinking that oh my leopold just pressed the whole game and didn't try to do anything different. When shots are falling you can't help that. No one ever got on cookson for running up a score and let me tell you he pressed the whole game no matter what! Coach Beck is a very respectful guy and his assistant coach wouldn't let him run up a score just because. You say you aren't making coach beck look bad. You are the one that brought it up and keep posting about it. My suggestion is to drop it and move on. Leopold is having another great season and some people just can't stand leopold basketball could have one of the best seasons in the history of the school. People need to grow up and quit blaming everything on someone else. It's just a basketball game nothing else. Kids need to accept things learn from it. Life isn't easy. Please don't disrespect our coach any more. Good luck to puxico the rest of the season and hope you all can go far.

-- Posted by goBIGblue on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 8:29 AM

Im glad to see Leopold having a great season. I really hope they can be a state contender. I have watched them play and they work very hard. Those kids are very respectable and have came together as a whole. Good luck!!!

-- Posted by gomizzou05 on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 10:02 AM

I enjoy the philosophy that a 50 point lead is the cut off. 50 points is when you should start subbing and backing off the press and what not. Losing by 50 points wouldn't burn nearly as badly as losing by 80?

-- Posted by sikte513 on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 10:20 AM


I think you've made your point and we're all aware of how you feel about the situation. Can we please move on?

You are regrettably missing a good story by choosing to focus on one little thing and running wild with it to make some pretty big assumptions about individuals you don't seem to know.

You're welcome to those assumptions, but, again, I think we're all clear on your thoughts at this point and don't need to keep talking in circles.

Thanks to all of you, bobmar included, for reading and commenting!

-- Posted by Rachel Crader on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 11:22 AM

My comments about your coach and his style of play in the Marquand game is more about trying to get him to realizing this is high school basketball. Ask any high school basketball fan what he/she things about a game ending at a 121/41 score and don't mention the name of the teams. The first question out of their mouth is going to be how come the winning team ran up the score? Why didn't he back them off. Leopold fans can use all the excuses they wish but your coach ran the score up Once again nothing against your team it's just your coaches style of winning that bugs me. GOOD LUCK in district play

-- Posted by bobmar2013 on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 11:24 AM


I strongly disagree with your opinion.

-- Posted by Dustin Ward on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 1:51 PM

I'm sure leopold will win the district but they gota get past 2 more teams to go to state so don't count ur chickens b4 ur eggs hatch and my take who will win state this year class 1 is Drexel class2 Oran class3 mrh class4 sikeston and I don't know much bout class 5 so I'm just gonna go with the 4 I got picked have a good day.

-- Posted by B-ball-fan on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 4:36 PM

if oran wins class 2 this year, it must be weak. and this column is about districts not state

-- Posted by mm81 on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 4:58 PM

So......... Ur point being ...... I can't talk about state ..... U musta woke up on wrong side of the bed this morning bc I said they'd win district and went beyond that and just so u know scc has a win against a class 2 state ranked team and Oran destroyed them twice and going to a third time this week so I'm just gonna say Oran must not be to weak if they beat scc and billings couldn't get it done keep ur comments to ur self mm81

-- Posted by B-ball-fan on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 6:14 PM

And Leopold beat Oran at Oran!

-- Posted by abcd on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 6:19 PM

Oh man here we go u remember the game it was close good game congrats to the wildcats yippy they won so what Oran can win there class but I'm telling u leopold won't I don't got nothing against them wildcats heck I'm proud of them but just don't get ur hopes up just yet

-- Posted by B-ball-fan on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 6:42 PM

I wish all local teams well! Just sayin the facts myself

-- Posted by mm81 on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 7:28 PM

In Leopold district. Class 1 district 2. The # 2 seed is Oak Ridge with a record of 17/6. With Leopold beating them once already Leopold should sail through their district. In district 1 the #1 seed is Risco with a record of 12/9 also losing to Leopold once this season. Winners of district 1 plays the winner of district 2 which mean Leopold should play Risco for the right to play the winner of district 3 vs 4 District 3 has two pretty good teams. Eminence and South Iron. In district 4 the #1 seed is Hurley with a record of 13/11 The the winner of districts 3 which will properly Eminence or South Iron should also sail through the district 4 winner. So I would thing the road to the final four goes through Eminence or South Irons for Leopold

-- Posted by bobmar2013 on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 9:58 PM

bobmar or what ever ur real name is cause obviously ur to scared to put it on here or come to Leopold & bring ur gripe face to face.I bet u one thing BOB if ur team had won by 80 pts we wouldn't hear a peep from u.These boys play their buts off every nite & the nite ur refering to our Coach who is a coach with plenty if sportsmanship took all his starters out & brought in kids that normally never play,so its not his fault that ur team could not play a lick of defense.So if ur going to jump any coaches case maybe it should be the coach that didnt teach his team how to play defense.Plus the name of the game is win at all cost, its not just do enough to win & then quit.I dont care if ur up1 or 80 u dont quit playing & I bet if u ask any coach in America including ur coach they'd say the same.So Bob get over it, let it go & move on with ur life, cause if this is ur biggest problem then u got problems.It HS basketball & it all comes around so grow up.Coach Beck did all he could but sit all his players & if the other coach had such a problem with it he shouldve thrown in the towel at 50.As u know these boys have a chance to do what no other Bball team n Leopold has done & If takes them winning by 80 again to reach state or win it so b it, im sure Scott County Central didnt have problems beating teams by 50-80 when they had Marcus Timmons or Otto Porter were winning all their championships,&im sure the coach didnt say boys let up when we are winning by 50, matter a fact I know they didn't.So instead of whining at the coach support a local team or shut up.Not to stoop to ur level, but I hope we beat u by 90 next tine we pkay but if ur coach is as good as Coach Beck he'll teach better D & remind his players what happened.Good luck to u & ur team Bob.

-- Posted by MissouriMule 1 on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 11:44 PM

Oh & if u ask me the question without team names saying thr scorr was 121-41, I'd say dam that othet team stinks & needsca new coach or the team that one is destin for a heck of a sesson.Oh & ur right its High School ball so there will b blowouts like this, have u seen scores during football season, baseball & yes even basketball.It happens all the time & the media r the ones who make big deals out of it and get people like u riled up.Thers always gonna b one team each year that totally dominate another team cause of a mismatch in talent, but thats no reason for the bettet team to quit, maybe play ur bench which he did but never quit.What did u want for him to do,sit the whole team till the other team catches up.Like I said earlier if it bothered the other coach forfeit, but guess what he didnt believe in quitting either.

-- Posted by MissouriMule 1 on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 11:57 PM

The more I read of incompetent writing the more it (I'll b nice) makes me mad.Either u dont watch sports enough to see thst blowouts happen in every sport.Do u watch March Madness when a 1 seed takes on a 16 seed & more than likely a team like Duke will beat a team like. Drake by 60-70pts does that uoset u, it hsppens in the NBA constantly, now I know this is HS ball but its the same one team is much better than the other & they open up a sizeable lead coach puts second string in & what should he say"guys dony shoot, dont gaurd, let them score so people dontvthinkbwe are running up the score"r u crazy the second string who doesn't play much is gonna go in there & play hard so that coach may say hey he might get in duringvfirst string instead of playing like crap.As I said before if it had been ur team up by 80 first u wouldnt have heard a peep from u or from the fine folks & Coach of Leopold. Thats it I'm done cause if I read one more of your posts I'm gonna blow a gasket bob from marquand.

-- Posted by MissouriMule 1 on Fri, Feb 8, 2013, at 12:17 AM

Great article Rachel, hope to see another on districts then state.Fingers crossed, GO WILDCATS!

-- Posted by MissouriMule 1 on Fri, Feb 8, 2013, at 12:19 AM

Bball fan SCC is no good this year like past years & I do believe Leopold beat Oran so I guess we shall see but this team doesn't count anything till its done thats why they r coached so well, as ffor big gyms we will see but they lost to ND class4 & Advance who theyvended up beating by 11 in Advances gym so I think they'll be ok.Good luck Wildcats & let the hater fuel the fire.

-- Posted by MissouriMule 1 on Fri, Feb 8, 2013, at 12:27 AM

I think, if anything, it speaks to how Billings is over ranked.

-- Posted by Jolly Dump on Fri, Feb 8, 2013, at 9:07 AM

One note: Billings was missing their best or second best player for their game against SCC from what I read. We do all know how one player can thoroughly change a game in the lower classes. It was a good win by SCC but I don't think it is a good reference point to use for comparison with everything else. And SCC fans aren't the ones touting it, I know that.

-- Posted by sideline starter on Fri, Feb 8, 2013, at 4:41 PM

Petropetty I'm sure leopold will win there district and It was a good article they've had a great run I'm glad to see them win but it just seems since the great scc is down so bad this year that they finally get to win a district I just wish that district was more talanted to really see what they got bc they haven't beat but one good team and that was Oran and lost to an avg nd team so time will tell and I'm proud of them wildcats but it just don't seem so special when the real competitive teams aren't up par and having a very very bad year I just hope the wildcats stay on a roll oh and they lost to advance to but got a win bk so it's not one of those years when you can say you beat some of the best now if they had wins over c town sikeston newmadrid it'd be different but I just don't see why so much hype is going into a team that just doesn't play a good schedule and that there first chance to win a district is in a district with teams being why down that just not much to brag about to me but hey I love watching them win too I just hope we can bring it all bk home to this small lil school

-- Posted by B-ball-fan on Fri, Feb 8, 2013, at 4:53 PM

bballfan they can only play who is put in front of them, granted some teams aren't as good this year as past years, but u r talking about 1A schools who even when good they're not great except for one or two.So the teams they r playing & dominating this year may b good its just these Keopold seniors want it that much more.They have blown every team they've played out of the water except Oran, Advance & ND, but ended up beating Advance by 11 n Advances gym, beat Oran on a night when two of their players were hurt & give them another shot at class 4 ND & odds r they win.As for Sikeston they're a class 4 or 5 team so thats like Southeast playing Mizzou, & Charleston & New Madrid same thing not r district.So as I was saying they can only play whos put in front of them.Now when districts get here they r ranked 1 so teams like Oran will be gunnin for them as will all other teams,so we will see how their resilience is then & I'm betting you'll see the same team thats played their butts off all year.Like u I want to see this small school bring home a title they have not done yet.One more thing my daughter plays as a junior on the Vball team & I want them to bring a title back to Leopold cause its their year now & maybe next year.So it would b awesome two have both teams win districts,sectionals & state.Go Wikdcats basketball & volleyball & hell y not baseball.Yippy Ki Yeah Wildcats win for the small schools.Oh & b ball fan i've got no problems with u & ur opinions, it's this bozo bobmar who cant let go his team got beat by 80 & our coach did everything but take our players off the floor, maybe the coach of the other team should teach D or throw in the towel.bobmar needs to let it go or talk to r coach face to face instead of ripping him behind his back, but if he knows our coach he better hush up.Peace out bball & hopefully will have a great outcome for small schools.

-- Posted by MissouriMule 1 on Fri, Feb 8, 2013, at 9:10 PM

@ petropetty As a Leopold fan, I sincerely wish you would refrain from posting such blabbering about Leopold, it's students, and residents. It's frankly embarrassing for me to get on here and read some of the things you've posted, plastering Leopold's name all over it. semoball readers, please know this is not a proper representation of the community of Leopold and it's a shame if this is the only outlet you use to draw your opinions of the town.

-- Posted by sikte513 on Sat, Feb 9, 2013, at 8:16 AM

If nothing else, it was interesting to read the world's longest run-on sentence and other terrible usages of grammar.

-- Posted by gostlrams on Sun, Feb 10, 2013, at 12:22 AM

@sikte513 im not it in any way trying to represent Leopold, its students, or residents in my so called blabbering.Im just a fan of the towns school & its teams & when I see someone ripping on our school, students or coaches im not one to let it slide by or take it lightly.Plus I will not hide behind a username that hides my identity like others do cause I dont care what people think when they need to b told that r coaches, teams,students & school deserve better.As for me @sikte513 u will never c another post form me,& its not cause of u.So sorry to any residents of Leopold I may have offended this was not my intention.Im not one to stand by idled when r school, teams or coaches r ripped on & no-one,to very few stick up for there own.So no more babbling from me even when one of ur own is picked on including mine.My apologies Leopold.As for @ gostlrams im not Shakespeare nor lm i here to win an essay, im typing on a phone so sorry for my run on sentences & spelling, but got my point across

-- Posted by MissouriMule 1 on Mon, Feb 11, 2013, at 9:48 PM

If a 1A school was to schedule a game with a larger school such as Sikeston and have the game turn into a blow-out.............would people blame Sikeston for running up the score? Small schools must establish themselves as contenders year in and year out before large schools will even consider scheduling regular season games with them. After all, they are attempting to improve their skills by playing good teams.

Some people are never satisfied. I recall the complaints during Christmas tournament because small schools were included. But it is the one time during the year that some schools get to see how they measure up against top competition within the area. I trust that Leopold learned something from it's losses at the Christmas tournament. We shall soon see how well they have used that lesson to prepare themselves

-- Posted by Robert* on Fri, Feb 22, 2013, at 9:35 AM

I have a different take on the two losses Leopold suffered at the Christmas tournament. The games were played in a large arena and that change probably did affect their game. But it seems to me that this was secondary.

As others have pointed out, Leopold does not have regularly scheduled games with larger schools. They are accustomed to playing smaller schools and have proven themselves against these same schools for several years now. Facing these familiar opponents, their confidence level is high and their performance on the court demonstrates this. Facing Notre Dame in the larger arena, they were intimidated and that intimidation showed in their play. And they had to face Advance the next day with no chance to recover mentally from the first loss. We will find out tonight what their mental toughness is when they face a good Scott Central team (whom they have never beaten) on their home court in the finals.

Confidence is a strange thing. I have seen talented high school teams fail to play up to their abilities because they did not expect to win. Part of building a dominant program is building the confidence of teen-agers and creating in their minds the knowledge, even the expectation, that they can play on an even footing with anyone. We will see tonight how far the Leopold team has progressed in this aspect of their game.

-- Posted by Robert* on Fri, Feb 22, 2013, at 1:18 PM

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Rachel Crader is the editor of semoball.com. She graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in May of 2009 before spending the summer covering the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

Highlights from Rachel's days in college include having a class down the hall from Chase Daniel and having NCAA wrestling champion Ben Askren hold the door open for her at Brady Commons, Mizzou's student center. She spent time covering Mizzou basketball, softball and baseball while working for the Columbia Missourian and is excited to return home to Southeast Missouri to cover local sports for semoball.com.

Rachel has covered three Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournaments for the Southeast Missourian and semoball.com, and she'll see you courtside again this year.