Cross country, golf, soccer, tennis and volleyball also take stage during the fall season in Missouri
Fall prep sports are set to get going next week on the lake, and there is a lot more going on than just the activities on the football field. Hundreds of other student-athletes will be working just as hard as the football players do to accomplish personal goals and bring state championships to their schools in other sports.
In order to set the table for 2014, it's necessary to remind ourselves where we ended up in 2013. Following are some highlights from last fall listed by school and sport.
Girls' golf: The Lakers sent two players to Class 2 sectionals, Brianna Knopf and Amber Theobald. Knopf came in 47th and Theobald finished 49th.
Boys' soccer: The Lakers went 8-16 overall and lost in the first round of district tournament play to Waynesville.
Softball: The Lakers notched a 17-21 overall record and lost in the first round of district tournament play to Hickman.
Girls' tennis: The Lakers completed the season with a 6-7 team record and lost in the second round of the district tournament to Jefferson City. Finessa Rassel lost in district tournament play to Ashley Dowden of Helias Catholic.
Volleyball: 4-25 overall record, lost in the first round of the district tournament to Waynesville.
Cross country: The Mustangs sent three members to the Class 3 state meet. Chase Cook finished 83rd in the boys' heat with a time of 18 minutes, 1.61 seconds. Gabrielle came in 59th in the girls' heat with a time of 21:09.5 and Julianna Timm was 143rd in the girls' heat in 23:24.47.
Girls' golf: The Mustangs sent Rebecca Armstrong to a Class 1 sectional, where she placed 30th.
Softball: The Mustangs had their season ended in the semifinal round of its district tournament by Southern Boone. Their overall record was 10-11.
Volleyball: These Mustangs also saw their season end in the district tournament, as Versailles defeated them in the quarterfinals. Their final tally was 8-14-4.
Cross country: Matt Reid, who finished in 17:51.89 - good for 66th place - represented the Indians at the state meet.
Girls' golf: Taylor Hayes did the Indians proud by tying for fifth place at the Class 1 girls' golf state tournament last season with a (77,84) 161. Devin Henderson qualified for sectionals last year as well, coming in 42nd place there.
Girls' tennis: As a team the Indians lost to Greenwood in the semifinal round of its district tournament, finishing at 4-3.
Boys' soccer: Despite a 5-10 overall record, the Indians were one win away from the state tournament last season, falling to Greenwood in their district championship game.
Softball: The Indians lost a district semifinal game to Blair Oaks to end their season, finishing at 7-13.
Volleyball: The Indians served their last in a district quarterfinal match against Springfield Catholic, capping off a 14-13-3 season.
Softball: The Tigers ended a 5-15 campaign with a district quarterfinal loss to Osage.
Volleyball: These Tigers went 6-17-4 last year, losing to Southern Boone in the district semifinal round.
Softball: The Pirates had a stellar 16-6 season, but fell just short of qualifying for the state tournament as they lost their district championship game to Montrose with Appleton City.
Looking ahead to this fall, there is plenty of reason for optimism that many of the teams on the lake can improve on 2013.
"We will have good experience at the varsity level. We have golfers who are hard workers and are ready to play and put forth their best effort. We need to lower our scorers in the four and five position and play consistently. I expect we will work hard to do our best and be competitive in our matches and tournaments," Laker girls' golf head coach Jane Eidson commented.
"Our goals for the season are to go far into district play and finish within the top four of the Ozark Conference. We've been beaten the last two years in the first round of districts, and we've had very winnable matches. Everyone will overlook our girls, but I know they are willing to step up to the plate," Camdenton volleyball head coach Austin Walker said.
New seasons mean new hopes and a bevy of opportunities to achieve. To all the area prep student-athletes, as long as you’re trying, we’re cheering.