LAMAR, Mo. – The Lamar Tigers will host Big 8 rival Seneca in the Missouri Class 2 state semifinals on Saturday.
Both teams are 11-1 heading into the weekend.
Seneca was the only team that was able to beat Lamar in the regular season – topping the Tigers 36-33 all the way back in week four.
“There’s a motivation because that was the game where we slipped up earlier in the year,” says Lamar head coach Jared Beshore, “It’s a state semifinal game, and we’re ready to go no matter who it is. It’s just a little added motivation that it’s a team that we got to play earlier in the year.”
“You can tell in practice and stuff. After that game, practice demeanor changed,” says Lamar senior RB/LB Austin Wilkerson on the regular season loss to Seneca, “It’s all kind of intensified. To get another shot at Seneca, we know we let that game slip away. It’s something that we’ve all been waiting for and we’re beep prepping for it.”
It’s rare for conference rivals to meet so late in the state bracket – and the Tigers are expecting a unique atmosphere with their southwest Missouri rivals coming to town with a spot in the state championship on the line.
“It’s going to be an old school atmosphere,” Beshore says, “It’s not going to feel like half the crowd is at home streaming the game. It’s going to feel like they’re all here. Seneca is going to bring their whole town up here. The whole town of Lamar is going to want to come over here and watch this thing. It’s going to be a special game.”
“Our community is always great at giving us a good atmosphere,” Wilkerson adds, “Going down there, it was still a great atmosphere with their fans and our fans. I’m hoping with everything going on and it being here, it will be an even better game.”
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