By ERIC X. VICCARO
Both the Ste. Genevieve and Valle Catholic High School football schedules were released last week.
Even though the Dragons had to make several changes to the 2020 schedule due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Ste. Genevieve R-II school district athletic director Dr. Jeff Nix said he’s going to honor the original two-year scheduling contracts.
That means Ste. Genevieve will open the season at Festus on Aug. 27.
Meanwhile, Valle Catholic has made some adjustments to its slate, said head coach/athletic director Judd Naeger.
“We picked up St. Dominic in Week Four as opposed to playing Bayless, and we picked up St. Francis Borgia Week Five as opposed to playing Grandview,” Naeger explained.
The Warriors still have one date that’s up in the air, on Oct. 15 — whether Valle Catholic will play host to Westminster Academy or travel to face Herculaneum.
Naeger said he wanted to schedule schools with larger enrollments now that the Warriors are a definitive Class 3 program.
Valle Catholic’s schedule is heavy on road trips, opening at Skyline in Urbana on Aug. 27. That’s a lengthy trip for a first game of the season, covering about 215 miles.
The Old Settlement Showdown will take place on Sept. 3 as Ste. Genevieve plays host to Valle Catholic at Dragon Field.
“Playing Valle at home is great,” Nix said. “It gives our kids and our school a chance to host one of the greatest rivalries in Missouri high school football.”
Nix hopes that football schedules will return to normal as COVID-19 cases wane; it was a nerve-racking juggling act for activities directors across Missouri not knowing who you’d play from week to week.
Crowd sizes were limited. Masks were mandatory gear along sidelines. And everyone exited facilities immediately after games rather than sticking around and socializing.
Other schedule highlights for Ste. Genevieve are the traditional rivalry game versus Park Hills Central on Oct. 1, Homecoming versus Perryville Oct. 8 and Senior Night against Brentwood Oct. 22. The Dragons also host Kennett on Sept. 10.
Meanwhile, Valle Catholic squares off with typical parochial rivals St. Vincent on the road Sept. 10 and St. Pius X at home on Oct. 22 for Senior Night. The Warriors’ will play Jefferson R-7 on Oct. 1 for Homecoming.
The 2021 slate also marks the return of a preseason jamboree at Dragon Field featuring hometown teams Ste. Genevieve and Valle Catholic plus St. Pius X and Park Hills Central.
Naeger now has been head coach at Valle for more than a decade; meanwhile, Ste. Genevieve is still in the process of hiring its new head coach with Ken Weik resigning from his duties in late autumn.