LAMAR, Mo. - The Lamar Tigers are on their field for their first week of football practice.
For the first time in a while, the Tigers are not heading into the fall as the defending Missouri Class 2 state champions.
Lamar finished last season with a 12-2 overall record. Their season ended in the state semifinals with a loss to Lathrop. That loss snapped Lamar's streak of 7 consecutive Missouri Class 2 state championships.
The team gets a bit of a fresh start now, entering the year without the pressure of keeping that streak alive. However, last year still stings, and the team is working hard to make sure they end up where they want to end up in November.
"I've been mad since December, and everybody around here knows it," says head coach Scott Bailey, "Most of them say I'm a sore loser, and that's true. I don't like to lose. But the reason that I'm mad is I think we underperformed as coaches. It bothers me that there's a gap between the level we were playing at and the level that we were capable of playing at. As coaches we could never get the scheme or the motivation or whatever it was that we were needing to close that gap consistently. That's probably why I've not been in a very good mood since December. I'm glad to be back out here with these guys because I want a chance to change it."
"We actually feel pretty great," adds senior DT Carlos Paiz, "We feel well-conditioned and pretty strong and honestly, it's a lot of fun this year. I feel like we've lightened up and were here just to play ball."
Lamar will open up the season on August 30th, at home against Logan-Rogersville.
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