Cape Central Tigers vs Sikeston Bulldogs

It’s been more than 40 years since I last shot a Central High School football game. Maybe I should have passed on this one. According to news stories I’ve been reading, Cape and the Sikeston Bulldogs were undefeated for the season.

If I had to put bookends on the evening, the shot of a Tiger being consoled after the game would be at the back end and this shot of a Bulldog scoring the first touchdown would go on the front end. The Bulldogs scored in less than a minute, ending up with a 21-0 win.

Sikeston’s first touchdown

When I first started shooting sports, I was told a good photo was one that showed the ball, the player’s number, his face and action. Oh, yes, and it should be sharp unless you were trying for an arty effect.

You’re going to see a bunch of action shots here that bend that rule severely. I didn’t have any long lenses with me, so I was limited in what I could get. I decided to put in some of the marginal shots because (a) it doesn’t cost me anything and (b) somebody might recognize themselves.

Unpleasant flashback as the clock counted down

When I was shooting the final moments of the game, I had a scary flashback to a high school basketball game I shot in a small Ohio town. The game seesawed back and forth all evening. When the winning goal was shot at the buzzer, the losing cheerleaders started crying. Some of the fan objected to me taking pictures of that. I looked over at a local cop for support; he shook his head and said, “If they come after you, I’m out of here.”

A touch of class

Missourian photographer Laura Simon captured Cape Central defenders Rodney Reynolds and Devin Rowett helping Sikeston running back Darryl Howard get back on his feet in the fourth quarter. I missed seeing it, but I’m glad it happened. That’s the kind of sportsmanship you don’t see often these days. I’ve covered high school games where the coach berated a player for doing something like that.

I was touched, too, when I saw several players not only shake hands with their opponents after the game, but embrace each other.

The Jungle was full of Tiger spirit

I always enjoyed shooting the crowd more than the game. One Friday night in southern Ohio, I shot the best football game of my career. It had all the elements: enthusiastic fans, raving coaches, a kid who set a record in about every category you could think, winning cheerleaders, losing cheerleaders, a great photo of two opponents shaking hands at the end, and the losing team leaving the field.

Ohio football crowds

As it turned out, the sports editor ran a pedestrian action shot. On Monday morning, the published called me in to complain about our lackluster sports coverage of late. It gave me great pleasure to hand him the sheaf of photos I had taken at that game.

Did you hear her bell?

I was amused at the idea of the tiny bells being part of a band performance at a football stadium. (If those aren’t bells, I apologize. I know less about music than I do about football.)

Photo gallery from Cape vs. Sikeston

The gallery is in chronological order, from pre-game, game, half time, more action, then game end. Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the photo to move through the gallery.

I wouldn’t waste a lot of time on the game action photos unless you’re looking for someone you know. I didn’t have the lenses to zero in on the action, it’s been over 40 years since I shot Central High School football and close to 20 years since I shot any kind of football.


14 Replies to “Cape Central Tigers vs Sikeston Bulldogs”

  1. Thank Ken: I played football for Central and graduated in ’60. I marvel at the equipment and uniforms of today compared to what we had. After a four year stint in the Marine Corps, I played for Kenny Knox at SEMO too. As now the Central Tigers and Cape State “Indians” played in Houck Stadium.

    1. The uniforms, for sure, are a lot different.

      One thing that surprised me, though, was the size of the players. Florida high school teams are a lot beefier than either Central or Sikeston’s teams looked to be.

    1. Nope, Cape Girardean born and bred.

      My bike blog, though, is popular in Australia. It typically ranks number two or three, after the US and Canada or Great Britain in where the traffic comes from.

  2. Fun shots, Cheerleaders need some smiles though, I missed seeing my great niece Brooklyn Lintz, a Central cheerleader. She had to miss the game due to being in the hospital due to another painful episode related to her sickle cell anemia. She was there in spirit, I’m sure of that.

    1. Jennie,

      There wasn’t a whole lot worth smiling about at this game.

      I was impressed when I noticed that these cheerleaders seemed to understand the game.

      There was long Central run that got the girls and the crowd excited. When the announcer said, “There’s a flag on the play,” I saw the cheerleader’s expression go south.

      I’ve covered some games where the cheerleaders were so clueless they’d cheer for the other team’s interception.

      They did one routine where they tossed the girls in the air and almost missed one. I turned to The Missourian photographer and commented, “You know a team’s having a rough night when even the cheerleaders can’t catch.”

      If body language and expressions were any indication, I think there might have been some completed passes in the grandstand, though.

  3. Thanks, Bob. Can you imagine shooting color at some of those high school fields around Athens? I think there were some where the fields didn’t have lights: the players had to put candles on their helmets.

    Then, there was the night the fog rolled in and you couldn’t see from one side of the field to the other. If there was ever a game that cried out for the hidden ball trick, this was it.

    The fog was so thick, I had to drive home with my driver-side door open using the center line stripe as a guide, because you couldn’t see the front of the car.

    I always enjoyed shooting high sports way more than college or the pros. The players and fans were doing it for fun and bragging rights, not money.

  4. It’s fun to see a current CHS football game. I like the tiger paw emblem. I also like that that the home team gets to wear its colors while the visitors wear white. The size and enthusiasm of the crowd impresses me. It was the same way in the 60’s. But, up here in the suburbs of Boston we only get a few hundred people at a game includeing the non-marching band. That’s for a team that is 7-0! In our town there is not even enough interest to have cheerleaders. The athletically inclined girls are busy with soccer, field hockey or crew. We have a great high school. But, it is different.

    1. Thanks, Ceekay.

      If had some longer lenses, the sports action would have been better. Or, it would have been much worse and I wouldn’t have an equipment excuse to fall back on.

      As far as the rest of the stuff, it’s hard to miss when you have targets of opportunity every place you turn.

      One thing about it, I couldn’t have shot color like that back in the days when I was running around with a 4×5 Crown Graphic press camera. I love digital photography.

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