Are you ready for some football? 2020 prep schedules unveiled

Perryville football coach Blane Boss watches his team compete against rival St. Vincent at St. Vincent last season.
Tom Davis ~

If you drive around the cities and towns dotting the Southeast Missouri landscape, one thing is undeniable: Kids are playing sports again in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Swim teams are practicing, baseball games – for all ages – are being played, golf courses are being utilized, and schools are conducting summer athletic camps.

So can football season be that far away?

“I’m sure hoping,” fourth-year Perryville High School football coach Blane Boss said of the 2020 season being played within a normal timeline. “It’s only June and there are other schools that have already been going (with their summer workouts) and getting after it.

“I just don’t see how we don’t, but I don’t know.”

One thing Boss does know for certain, however, is who the Pirates’ competition will be.

Area football schedules were released Tuesday and the overall theme for every program throughout the area was “new.”

With the calendar turning over into a new two-year rotation of games, every program has some new opposition that it needs to begin thinking about and preparing for.

“You touch on the changes and the new faces,” veteran East Prairie coach Chad Jamerson said, “we go from playing Chaffee and Scott City, two teams that we played before I was in high school, and that was more than 25 years ago, to picking up schools like Kennett and Dexter.”

The Eagles are in the renovated SEMO Conference and now are part of the six-team Central Division along with Caruthersville, Doniphan, New Madrid, as well as Kennett and Dexter.

“It’s no joke,” Jamerson said of the Division. “It’s a tough conference.”

It isn’t just East Prairie that is concerned with now having to play Kennett, Poplar Bluff added the Indians, as well, and Mules’ coach David Sievers is entering his 33rd year of coaching and he knows enough about the Kennett program – particularly its recent history under fourth-year coach Joel Wyatt – that he too is wary of the looming contest.

“We’ve played Kennett on the lower levels,” Sievers said. “This was an opportunity where we needed a game and they needed a game.”

Poplar Bluff got out of its contract with fellow Class 5 program Chaminade College Prep and will now face Class 3 Kennett, but don’t let those numbers fool you, Sievers said.

“I’m not sure we didn’t just jump out of the frying pan and into the fire,” Sievers said. “Kennett is really coming on.”

The Indians won their first 13 games of the season last fall before losing in the state semifinals. However, Wyatt realizes that won’t mean much come August 28 when the Indians open the season at Malden.

“These seniors,” Wyatt explained, “I’ve had them from their freshman year on. They’ve gotten used to me and my mindset and they’ve heard me preaching for three and four years that we always treat each week as a whole new season in itself.”

The Indians won’t travel to Poplar Bluff until Oct. 16, so there is a ton of football to be played before that game, but both Wyatt and Sievers acknowledge it should be an interesting contest for the fans to watch.

“Most of the time when you think about a bigger school playing a smaller school,” Sievers said, “the big school has the advantage. But Kennett is on a roll. It will be a great game for us.”

Boss is going to waste no time learning about his Pirates in another “great game.”

Perryville opens against St. Clair, which won 10 games last season.

It is one of several games that Boss’s history influenced the scheduling of.

“I know (St. Clair coach Brian Robbins) really well,” Boss said. “He was at Hillsboro and gave me a job there. He is kind of my mentor, so to speak.”

Another emotional night for Boss will be when his team ventures to his alma mater, Windsor, for a Week 2 match-up.

“They are a Class 4 school,” Boss said, “so it will be a good game for us. It’s an easy drive and made a lot of sense for us.”

2020 MSHSAA Football Schedules

August 28

St. Vincent at Park Hills Central

St. Clair at Perryville

Crystal City at Chaffee

East Prairie at Charleston

Hayti at Thayer

Kelly at Doniphan

New Madrid at Portageville

Kennett at Malden

Dexter at Scott City

Caruthersville at Sikeston

Cape Central at Parkway North

Roosevelt at Jackson

O’Fallon (Ill.) at Poplar Bluff

Sept. 4

Scott City at St. Vincent

Perryville at Windsor

Charleston at Chaffee

Hayti at Portageville

Kelly at Malden

Mountain Grove at Caruthersville

Doniphan at Kennett

Sikeston at Dexter

East Prairie at New Madrid

St. Charles West at Cape Central

Hillsboro at Jackson

Poplar Bluff at Desoto

Sept. 11

St. Vincent at Valle Catholic

Park Hills Central at Perryville

Chaffee at Kelly

Malden at Charleston

Hayti at Scott City

Portageville at East Prairie

Caruthersville at Doniphan

Dexter at New Madrid

Ste. Genevieve at Kennett

Cape Central at Hillsboro

Poplar Bluff at Jackson

Sikeston at Farmington

Sept. 18

Herculaneum at St. Vincent

Perryville at Fredericktown

Malden at Chaffee

Kelly at Charleston

Farmington at Hayti

Scott City at Portageville

Kennett at Caruthersville

Doniphan at New Madrid

East Prairie at Dexter

Jackson at Cape Central

Poplar Bluff at Sikeston

Sept. 25

St. Vincent at Perryville

Chaffee at Hayti

Portageville at Charleston

Crystal City at Kelly

Scott City at Malden

New Madrid at Caruthersville

Doniphan at Dexter

Kennett at East Prairie

Cape Central at Farmington

Jackson at Sikeston

St. Mary’s at Poplar Bluff

Oct. 2

Bayless at St. Vincent

Perryville at Potosi

Portageville at Chaffee

Charleston at Hayti

Kelly at Scott City

Malden at East Prairie

Dexter at Caruthersville

St. Pius at Doniphan

Malden at East Prairie

New Madrid at Kennett

Sikeston at Cape Central

Jackson at Miller Career

Farmington at Poplar Bluff

Oct. 9

St. Vincent at St. Pius

Ste. Genevieve at Perryville

Chaffee at Scott City

Sikeston at Charleston

Hayti at Kelly

Malden at Portageville

Caruthersville (bye week)

East Prairie at Doniphan

Kennett at Dexter

New Madrid at Valle Catholic

Cape Central at Poplar Bluff

Farmington at Jackson

Oct. 16

Grandview at St. Vincent

Perryville at Dexter

Jefferson C-7 at Chaffee

Charleston at Scott City

Hayti at Malden

Portageville at Kelly

Hayti at Malden

Caruthersville at East Prairie

Doniphan at Fredericktown

Poplar Bluff at Kennett

New Madrid at Sikeston

St. Clair at Cape Central

Cardinal Ritter at Jackson

Oct. 23

St. Vincent at Jefferson R-7

Chaffee at Grandview

Charleston at New Madrid

Caruthersville at Hayti

Kelly at Bayless

Portageville at Crystal City

Dexter at Malden

Scott City at Doniphan

Fredericktown at East Prairie

Sikeston at Kennett

Francis Howell North at Cape Central

Jackson at Hickman

Poplar Bluff at Hillsboro

Oct. 24

Herculaneum at Perryville

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