A 12-1 record, Ozark Conference championship and the program’s 28th district title made for quite a journey that came to a tough end in the Class 4 state quarterfinals against eventual state champion Webb City.
Camdenton had quite a run on the gridiron this season.
A 12-1 record, Ozark Conference championship and the program’s 28th district title made for quite a journey that came to a tough end in the Class 4 state quarterfinals against eventual state champion Webb City. Some may feel the actual state championship game was played on that cold and misty night at Bob Shore Stadium in November when the eventual state champions came to town, considering the Lakers put up the toughest fight among any of Webb City’s remaining opponents.
However, a season like that where the offense produced 47.8 points per game and the defense allowed just 16.8 per outing is bound to come with some postseason accolades. Plenty of Lakers received postseason honors and those honors also went to Head Coach Jeff Shore who was named the Ozark Conference Coach of the Year, Class 4 Central Missouri Media Coach of the Year and Class 4 Media Coach of the Year for the entire state.
Shore will be quick to tell you, though, that those honors belong to the entire program.
“The main thing is that it brings attention to the coaching staff, players and the program. It is always nice to get personal accolades, but it is a great reflection on the players and coaching staff of the Camdenton Lakers,” he stated. “It is not about you, personally, but a great reflection on the guys who played and program in general. Appreciate it, for sure.”
Camdenton has now enjoyed four straight winning seasons and the Lakers have gone 22-3 in the past two years alone. Shore said the players have done a great job of just playing hard and upholding the tradition of Camdenton football, which includes five previous state championships.
“They have taken hold of that and want to make the people proud who came with them and the people who came before them,” Shore noted. “They gave great effort and attitude, a very unselfish attitude. From a coaching perspective, a lot of time, energy and effort has been invested from those who coached here a long time or played here. A lot of the guys, this is where they want to be and that comes through to players. It is more than just a job, they care about this little part of the world and Laker football.”
Moving forward after a season where Camdenton’s only loss came to an eventual state champion the team was tied with at halftime in the quarterfinals, Shore said it should keep his players motivated.
“That tells you where we are at and that kind of happened to us two years in a row,” the coach said, referring to a loss to Webb City in the same round a season ago. “It shows you how close you are and keeps us hungry. It sets the precedent for the next guys to attain that and go further. It is a carrot dangling on the stick that keeps you motivated and hungry.”
For now, the team will enjoy all of its accolades from senior quarterback Paxton DeLaurent being named the Class 4 All-State Offensive Player of the Year to fellow senior Ryan Maasen being named the Ozark Conference Defensive Player of the Year and all the awards between.
“Lots of great players got great accolades and that happens when a team does well. Football is more of a team sport than any,” Shore pointed out. “What I appreciate is that they are not in it for personal gain, it just came along with the fruits of a team.
“Fantastic year and glad to be a part of it.”