Former MLB star David Eckstein announced as 2017 Semoball Awards Speaker

Friday, March 17, 2017
May 24, 2007; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO.
“Photo courtesy of The St. Louis Cardinals"

Cape Girardeau, MO — David Eckstein was announced as the keynote speaker for the 2017 Semoball Awards in a March 7 press conference at HealthPoint Fitness in Cape Girardeau. Eckstein played infield for 10 seasons and was the 2006 World Series MVP with the St. Louis Cardinals.


“We are looking forward to the return of the Semoball Awards for a 4th year, “ said Jon K. Rust, co-president of Rust Communications and publisher of the Southeast Missourian. “This event recognizes the hard work of the region’s student athletes and it’s important they have the opportunity to hear from accomplished speakers like David Eckstein about the importance of determination and perseverance.”

This year’s event will be held July 8 at the River Campus in Cape Girardeau.


“As President and Chief Executive Officer for SoutheastHEALTH, we are honored to be part of the sports community and proud to partner with Rust Communications and the Semoball program to acknowledge local athletes who excel in their sport and in the classroom," SoutheastHEALTH president Kenneth Bateman said. "It's an exciting time for these athletes and their families and we are pleased to be part of it. On behalf of the employees of SoutheastHEALTH we thank you for making us part of the sports community and wish all of our local athletes the best of luck throughout the Semoball selection process."


Each year the awards show features a keynote speaker to inspire the student athletes in attendance to continue working hard towards their academic and athletic goals. Past speakers include motivational speaker Kyle Maynard, Gold medalist Jennie Finch and former NFL star and current ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth.

“Choosing the right keynote speaker really sets the tone for the event,” said Lucas Presson, assistant publisher of the Southeast Missourian. “We want to make sure that not only is the person recognizable, but also that the message he or she delivers is inspirational and one that resonates with our student athletes. We are extremely excited to bring David Eckstein, who has regional ties having been a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, to the event.”


The 2017 Semoball Awards are presented by SoutheastHEALTH. Title sponsors include First Midwest Bank (Official Bank Sponsor); Athlon Sports; St. Louis Cardinals; SEMO ESPN Radio; rustmedia and your local daily newspaper.


Tickets are on sale now. For more information visit For sponsorship opportunities, contact Lucas Presson at 573-388-3649 or