Oldest Rivalry West of the Mississippi

Charleston hosts Sikeston in the 130th meeting of the Schools.

Entrance to John Harris Marshall Athletic Complex ~ KpPhoto (c) 2015
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**Update ~ Aug. 17 ~ 5 AM

In 1907 ~ #Merica was beginning to blossom. After the Civil and before the Big One ~ citizens were busy Looking Inward and toward fulfilling our Manifest Destiny.

At Marble Hill College near Cape in 1907 ~ the Charleston Football Program began with a 6-0 W to Said College of Marble Hill.

In the 3 years of CHS Football 1908-1910 ~ Sikeston was the Lone opponent and the Jays dropped a 10-5; 10-0 and 16-0 decision during that time.

In 1911, The Blue Jays opened for real with Coach See taking the helms for one season (1-3-1) and Cairo, Ill. added to the schedule; then Legendary Coach Kirk came in Charleston Football began a tremendous Run.

 William Howard Taft, yeah ~ that guy ~ was #Merica’s POTUS -in 1912 when Charleston notched a 2-3-1 season (their first 2 W campaign – with the Jackson Indians being the victim.

1913 ~ 5-0-1 Blue Jays One of Top Football Teams in SEMO. Blank Anna, Ill. 40-0.

World At War ~ War to End All Wars

Blue Jays put up consecutive 5-win seasons with a 5-1-1- mark in 1914.

Poplar Bluff; Jackson and joined now by Farmington and Cape Girardeau teams that dot the slate.

1915 ~ 5-1-1 ~ 100 Years Ago 

Charleston went 1-1-1 against Sikeston that season and clobbered Farmington Black Cats 60-0.

1916 ~ Best Season To Date ~ Jays Go 7-1-1

Sikeston being the only L on the slate; Caruthersville joins the Frey falling to the Jays 41-0; 26-0.

1917 ~ First Undefeated Season in CHS History

7-0-1 ~ A scoreless tie with Cape the only blemish; Jays destroy newcomer to SEMO Football Malden 58-6 and 6-0.

1918 ~ The Great War Ends ~ Season impacted ~ Jays play only 3 games (1-0-2).

1919 ~ 3-6 First Full Slate of Game dot regular schedules of SEMO playing Football Schools.

1920 ~ For calculation’s sake ~ remember, I’m an Ep Grad – Let’s tally the total from the beginning of CHS Football to the 2nd Decade of the 20th Century.

23-9-5 as the 1920 Season rings in.

A 5-2 mark that year Highlighted by a 65-0 skunking of C’ville.

1921 ~ 5-2-1

1922 ~ 6-1-1 ~ Including a 99-6 triumph over Cape. The Tigers also provided the only blemish on the season with a 6-0 defeat of the Jays in the second game of that double header.

1923 ~ 7-1-1  ~ Jackson spoils Undefeated Bid 6-0

1924 ~ 8-1-2 ~ First 8 Win Season in History ~ 3-0 Loss to Sikeston keeps Charleston Undefeated Season.

1925 ~ 0-8-1 Coach Hamm‘s last as the Helm of the Jays. A 7-7 tie with Malden the highlight.  A 6-6 tie in the first meeting of Mississippi County rivals with East Prairie.

1926 ~ John Harris Marshall takes over Coach of the Charleston Blue Jays. Teams put together back to back 3-5 seasons (1927, too) before the Jays take off to another Level.

1928 7-1-1 Poplar Bluff spoils the Bid 18-0.

1929 ~ 7-2 Charleston loses two close ones; 7-6 to Jackson and 7-0 to Cape.

Total Now Stands 69-35-12 thru 1907-1929 ~ Jays post a 46-26-7 Mark in the 1920’s.

1930’s ~ Charleston’s Dominant Decade

Blue Jays post A 62-24-5 Mark during the 10-year span from 1930-1939.; including a 9-0-1 record against rival Ep that included a scoreless tie in 1932.

In 1939 ~ Jays post 8-2 mark. Included that year was A Missouri State Playoff Game at Poplar Bluff with 6500 Fans in attendance ~ Largest Crowd Ever in Missouri High School Football History to that point. A 10-7 Charleston victory ove Dexter.

Total Tally to this point in CHS program ~ 131-59-17

1940’s ~ The War Years ~  The Era of Era’s in Blue Jays football. 63-23-4 over the 10-year span.

John Harris Marshall 20-Year Coaching Career (1926-46) comes to an end; Leaves Coach Rhea and  Jays in Great shape in 1947.

According to Mike Ellis~ ~ the 1947 Season is considered One of the Best Charleston teams of All Time; Undefeated (9-0), yet, did not with the SEMO Conference outright; shared crown with Cape Central as the Tigers – also undefeated – but the two teams did not play that year and thus had to share the Crown.

Total Tally to this point in CHS program from 1907 thru 1939 – 131-59-17. Add, the Dominant Decade of the 1940’s (63-23-4) and the Blue Jauys ~ in the beginning ~ had complied a ~ 194-82-21 Record from the inception of the program up to and thru the 1949 Season.

The 50’s ~ Elvis was King; even performed at Local Juke Box Joints in and around the Prairie. 

The Decade of the 50’s could Also be known as the Wandering Decade of the Blue Jays; At least 3 different Coaches -records indicate – including A Coach Bonner and A Coach Cope.

The 50’s was also the First Time East Prairie defeated Charleston.

In 1950 Ep was King with a 7-0 decision; a 14-7 Eagles victory followed the next season in 1951.

It would take 34 years for the Eagles to do it again.

Including in that span, A Couple Heart Breakers for Folks on the South End of the County who distinctly recall the back roads drive Home from JHMAC in 1975 with Muskrat tail firmly tucked after a 41-0 humiliation of Ep’s First Ever State Playoff team ~undefeated (7-0) at the time. Yeah,  #StillStukIntheKraw, A Tad.

For the record: How did Ep officials respond after the thrashing of the Best Eagle Team in History? Why, by dropping Charleston from the Schedule.

Bad Move Ep.

And, it was. Embarrassing. More embarrassing than the 70-0 thumping on the Field. According to good sources ~ and, remember ~ i’m in school at Ep during this turbulent time.

The 70’s and integration of schools in Mississippi County; the Racial Riots in Cairo, Ill; Pinhook/Dorena kids came to town.

It was A Fun Time. Times, They Were A Changin`.

But, the response by Ep School Board officials who terminated the contract was repulsive. And, overturned soon enough by Alum and Civic Leaders who also found in preposterous.

It was one thing getting beat by the Blue Jays ON the Football Field. Losing Happens. Only One Team Wins.


It was suggested ~ on an official Level ~ that the Losing was Hurting the Psyche of the School Children on the Prairie.

Harrumph Bull Poop, I Call on that one.

But, to Chicken **** Out and Not Play was unacceptable. And, so, when Dempsey Craft took over the Jays ship in 85, the rivalry was renewed.

History Shows Me ~ that to get better you got to play better and play the best. *2nd Hint Ep hoops.

At the time ~ the count in the Ep-C’town exhibition (kain’t kall it a competition if one side kain’t win) was 3~51.

Yes, you read that right. 51-3. Charleston beat East Prairie 51 times out of 54 during that Long Time Frame. Can you Blame Eagle Fans for the #3-peat Dynasty Banner Now?

Or, at the very Least, understand where ~ the Allegiance/Sentiment/Passion/competitiveness from the South end ~ Hails from. Surely?

If not, well, I Kain’t Help You.

Look at the Book, my Charleston Friends use to Tell Me ~ These Days ~ in the 21st Century ~ thank Goodness that’s My Retort to them.


THE  MARSHALL DYNASTY ~ Herb comes Home and Charleston takes off…

The 60’s ~ ***Update for #LTR Monday, Aug. 17 ***

***Continuing Update on the Rivalry All Week ***


Sikeston visits John Harris Marshall Athletic Complex
Blue Jays take Aim at      victory in the Rivalry.

Put forth as the Oldest Rivalry West of the Mississippi ~ although the St. Louis inter-city rivalry of Kirkwood-Webster Groves cries foul over the assertion of the Proud Charleston Football boosters.

Nonetheless, this Historic Tradition began in 1908 ~ and by any measure ~ that’s A Long Time. Charleston 1st ever Game was in 1907, a 6-0 Victory over Marble Hill  College.

So, Unofficially ~ by my Math ~ this stands at the 130th Contest involving the Storied Charleston~Sikeston Football Rivalry.

*Data for this story provided by Charleston Sports Authority Mike Ellis ~ and A Swell Human Being. Mike has documented the year by year; game-by-game totals for the CHS Blue Jays. It is an incredible piece of Sports Journalism. I’m fortunate and grateful for All the Hard Work Mr. Ellis did in compiling the Historical Information.

Additional source Material from the MaxPreps.Com website that has the records of ~ not only Charleston ~ but East Prairie as well.

Those who know more, Feel Free to chime in , but, what I have been able to find is that the 2015th edition will be the 130th version. *There were times early in the rivalry where the teams played more than once a year.

And, how important is it to Charleston Football Fans and Alums? Simple Answer ~ Extremely. Outside observers have asked why do the Blue Jays keep the 5A Bulldogs on the schedule in 2015.

The answer to that is simple, too. 1908.  Some numbers are meaningful.

Wins and Losses, too,  ~ yeah ~ and, there was A Time when the Blue Jays could compete with the Larger Schools in the SEMO Conference.

And, not just in the Prime Years ~ but, All Year s. That time may have come and gone now in the 21st Century but I Dare you to ask Coach Blackman or Athletic Director Michael Minner to Take Sikeston off the Schedule.

I have their number if you wish to call. #SendMeALine

Or, I can save you the Time because I have asked that question to both of them. I Also asked that to Long-Time Missouri Hall of Fame Blue Jay Basketball Coach Danny Farmer. He laughed out Loud as well at the absurd question.

No one can question the Pride of the Blue Jays, that’s For Sure. A Little Common Sense Approach in Scheduling these days ~ perhaps and maybe ~ but, it’s more that just Wins and Losses that Matter ~ and Charleston (imho) is doing the right thing by continuing to play Sikeston.

Just an opinion ~ and, perhaps a slanted selfish one ~ but (and, remember, I’m an Ep Grad) I’m All For trying to Slay the Giant. Embrace the Underdog. Plus, you can’t beat ’em If U Don’t play `em, I always say. (Hint ~ Ep Hoops)

So, Friday Night, a classic Home Town #American will play out again in Charleston, Missouri. A crowd ~ sadly the biggest of the season for A Young Blue Jays squad that needs all the Help it can get this year from the Fans as they still grown (Freshman and Sophomore dominated 35-man Team) and rebound from the winless 0-10 2014 Campaign.

Talking to Blue Jays quarterback Tennerious Ewing during the Blue Jays Car Wash to help supplement Meals for this year’s team ~ I get the feeling they will. #BlueJays

For practicality’s sake in this story ~ Let’s Take A Look at the Rivalry thru the Decades ~ after 2000.

First, here’s A Look at the 21st Century term of the Rivalry from 2001-2014.

In 2001, The Blue Jays under Coach Anderson started the New Century with a 9-3 season-but lost to the Bulldogs 38-15. However, Charleston hammered East Prairie 47-0. #IDLP

2002 ~ Jays were 5-5 with a 24-6 L to Sikeston but again hammered Ep 48-15.

2003 ~ Another .500 season for the Jays (5-5) and another loss to Sikeston 12-12.

But, hey, got the Eagles again 28-20 ~ are we seeing a pattern here. Ep edging closer to competitive.

That’s for another story, however, as this #KronPiece is chronicling the Storied; Legendary and Classic Bulldog-Blue Jays Rivalry.

2004 ~ Charleston with a fine Season and notch the 1st win of the 21st Century in the rivalry with a 34-14 Victory at JHMAC.

2005 ~ 2nd W in a row over the Bulldogs 14-9

2006 ~ In Coach Alfred Marshall’s final season (3-6) but with a W over the Bulldogs 13-6 ~ for 3 in a row in the series.

2007 ~ Coach Kesselring at the Helm; 4-7 in his first season and A 35-14 L to Sikeston

2008 ~ Charleston is 1-9; 48-6 Loss to Sikeston.

2009 ~ -1-8 under the beginning of the 2-year Reign of Horror of Jeremy Helton and a 54-0 thumping by Sikeston. Oh, this also includes the first of East Prairie’s 3-peats: A 10-6 Eagle W that year.

2010 ~ Helton Hollow; Rock Bottom 0-10. Jays do score a pair of Field Goals in a 51-6 L to the Dawgs and Fall in the Battle of Mississippi County rivalry 55-15 to Ep .

2011 ~ Current Blue Jays Coach Brett Blackman arrives and immediately restores respect to the Proud Blue Nation. 5-6-1 in his initial campaign and a 51-21 Thumping of the Southern Neighbors.. #GameOn

2012 ~ This eases the pain of Last Year-s 0-10 Mark as the Blue Jays dominted in 2012 despite a 27-14 Loss to Sikeston. Chalreston stomps Ep 66-0.

2013 ~ Jays go .500 (5-5) Fall to Sikeston 24-6.

2014 ~ 0-10 Charleston suffers 66-20 defeat to Sikeston and a 70-6 Decision by Ep.

2015 ~ tbt ~

So, Let’s do the quick math ~ remembering I attended Ep ~ Math Ain’t My thing. However, during this Time Span, Charleston is 3-11 against Sikeston with all three wins coming in a row in `05-`05-`06.

The Blue Jays have dropped the Last 8 in a row to the `Dawgs. 

And, it don’t Look Good This Year. But ~ and, this is the Good Thing on the Rivalry ~ there’s Always Next Year.

But, before that, Let’s Take A Look at the Past. A Glorified and Proud Legacy the Blue Jays have in Football.

#KpKronicle.com post pending….


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:KpKronicleLLC ~ Kevin Pritchett



2 Comments on Oldest Rivalry West of the Mississippi

  1. Mostly “Double Dutch”, but I have been to Charleston a few times, as recently as 4-5 July 2015, and have friends there. Have dined a few times at Lambet’s Cafe in Sikeston. (Sad that Lambert’s Cafe is being sued over an injury from a throwed bun.)

  2. Enjoyed this article so much…could feel the electricity circulate in my veins knowing tonight’s the night…Played 5 years of college football and there is no game or no place I’d rather play the the Sikeston bulldogs at John Harris marshall stadium….it was my super bowl…

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