STORM CENTER: A COLUMN WRITTEN BY ERIC VICCARO
The “Old Settlement Showdown” between Valle Catholic and Ste. Genevieve is a football series rich with tradition.
With Ste. Genevieve opening the season earning a mild upset road victory over Festus, 36-31, there were hopes for a competitive game between the Dragons and Warriors.
However, such drama didn’t materialize.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed with the result and expected a much more competitive game,” said Ste. Genevieve head coach Jay Pope, who once served as an assistant for Valle Catholic.
For the third straight game in the series, which was established several generations ago in 1956, Valle Catholic didn’t have much trouble with its cross-town rival.
The first year Ste. Genevieve and Valle Catholic clashed was the final year of the Dominic Calacci era for the blue-and-white, who turned around the program.
During the past three games now, Valle Catholic has scored in the 40s while Ste. Genevieve has been stuck in single digits — this time losing by whitewash.
Whitewash is a nice, fancy term for a shutout.
“It was a perfect storm for a one-sided game,” Pope continued. “You have a really good team in Valle, and on the other side, we had the worst week of preparation from the coaching side of things.”
Pope acknowledged the Dragons were dealing with COVID-19 (coronavirus) issues in an email to the Ste. Genevieve Herald.
In the series between the two schools, Valle Catholic rolled in the 1950s and 1960s, with a record of 6-2.
Ste. Genevieve controlled the turbulent and disco-flavored 70s with a record of 7-3, while Valle Catholic dominated games during the “Me” decade 80s (9-1).
This past Friday night, Valle Catholic’s defense and junior quarterback Chase Fallert, who grows by leaps and bounds week after week, were too much for Ste. Genevieve.
“Our defense played a really good game, and they certainly tightened up in the red zone,” said Warrior head coach Judd Naeger. “Our front four was able to keep them off schedule, and led to some big stops.”
This was a game everyone in Ste. Genevieve looked forward to. Vehicles filed into the parking lots early.
Ste. Genevieve R-II school district opened the extra parking area below the Performing Arts Center, and there was certainly an “overflow” crowd with fans’ elbows overhanging fences on both sides.
Ridgeway Street turned into a local version of Chicago’s Wrigley Field, with fans at two dwellings looking down on the proceedings from their crested position.
During the game, Ste. Genevieve and Valle Catholic “rowdy” crowds wore green and white, respectively. The students cheered about which school had more spirit. They also sprinkled the field with cell phone flashlights reminiscent of a rock concert.
Ste. Genevieve’s marching band flourished, playing selections from Queen. The Emeralds also performed.
However, by halftime, Ste. Genevieve’s guilty feet had no rhythm (George Michael reference) as Valle Catholic rolled to 33-0 lead.
Could Ste. Genevieve and Valle Catholic face each other again this season? That remains a possibility.
The Missouri State High School Activities Association recently drew up postseason district assignments. And both the Warriors and Dragons have been placed in Class 3 District 2.
The district also will feature Bayless, Bishop DuBourg, Herculaneum, Roosevelt of St. Louis and St. Mary’s, another St. Louis school that eliminated Valle Catholic from the playoffs last year.