ore than 90 high schools across the 24-county region compete in more than a dozen sports on a varsity level each year. Most compete under the guidelines of the Missouri State High School Activities Association, and others under the sanction of the Missouri Christian School Athletic Association.
Southeast Missouri schools and athletes have won hundreds of state championships in a variety of athletic competitions, including baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, soccer, softball, track and field, volleyball and wrestling since high school sports first began locally more than 120 years ago.
Much of the historical high school information on this site was gathered by Al Jackson, a longtime Southeast Missouri high school sports advocate and historian whose hard work allows us to share the great teams, athletes and stories of past years. Al died in 2018, and we dedicate these pages to him.
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Al Jackson, left, was the statistician for Hayti High School for more than three decades, and his passion for sports and historical research has helped us chronicle more than 100 years of team and program history in Southeast Missouri.
About Al Jackson
Al Jackson devoted more than 40 years of his life to advancing sports in Hayti and around the Bootheel, and eventually used his passion for sports to chronicle the most extensive historical data for sports teams throughout Southeast Missouri.
Al was born June 8, 1947, and graduated from Hayti High School in 1965. As a lifelong resident of Hayti, Al's interest in local sports led him to a variety of roles, from game official to statistician to league commissioner. He spent more than three decades as the official statistician for Hayti varsity sports; he died in early November 2018.
In addition to roles in sports and a fulltime job as plant manager at Loxcreen Co. in Hayti, Al spent years researching the history of high school basketball and football teams throughout the region, ultimately compiling that information into an extensive, printed archive that chronicled, among other things, year-by-year team histories, championship histories, coaching histories, noteable personalities, and school backgrounds, all of which he printed and distributed at no cost to local media and coaches.
Al was bestowed multiple honors as a result of his dedication to local sports. In 2002, the City of Hayti dedicated one of its four new baseball and softball fields as Al Jackson Field. In 2013, the Poplar Bluff Letter Club presented Al the Sam Giambelluca Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication and service to high school athletics.
Just days after Al's death, the Hayti football team wore "AJ" decals on their helmets during a 44-0 win that earned the program its first-ever state football championship. Al was also honored with a moment of silence at high school basketball games during the 2018-19 season.
Much of the historical high school information on our website is the result of Al's years of research, which we will continue to update and expand.
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