Lamar aims to return to state championship game

The Tigers host Richmond in the Class 2 semifinals Saturday.

LAMAR, Mo. – Repeating as state champions is no easy task.

“It’s extremely difficult. Things have to shape your way,” says Lamar head coach Jared Beshore, “You have to obviously put in the work first, but then just the adversity of dealing with injuries and dealing with other teams that have gotten better. Teams that have gotten better and have improved their program. They’ve seen us play and they’ve adapted their programs to beat teams like us. The pieces have to fall in to place for you.”

The Lamar Tigers are aiming to do just that, and go two-for-two in their first two seasons under head coach Jared Beshore.

“It would mean the world to me that these kids get to do this for a second year in a row,” Beshore says, “I think that’s my motivation, getting them to next weekend and getting them seven more days of football.”

(Nance) “It would mean so much. I’ve been dreaming about this day for a long time,” says senior RB/DB Matthew Nance, “We know what we’re working for, and that’s seven more days of football, until MSHSAA tells us we can’t go any more.”

Lamar is two wins away from another Class 2 title – beginning with a semifinal matchup against Richmond on Saturday.

“They’re big, they’re athletic, they’re long and they’re a very physical team,” Beshore says of Richmond, “They’re going to do what they do. They don’t change a whole lot based on the team they’re playing. They just like to go straight at you, very similar to the philosophy we have.”

The Tigers know their end goal is to win it all, but it’s the small details along the way that will help them get there.

“Detail-oriented people usually get good results. When you focus on the small things, that’s the difference between a five-yard gain and a touchdown a lot of times,” Beshore finishes, “When we focus on that in practice, that’s sometimes the difference between a win and a loss. Football is a game of inches. Our guys understand that and they’ve bought into that. They’ve been coached like that for a long time. I was coached liked that, so it’s really easy for them to buy into it and understand why it works and how it works.”

Lamar hosts Richmond Saturday at 1 PM, with the winner moving on to the Missouri Class 2 state championship next Friday.