Lamar gets by Richmond to return to state championship

WATCH: Lamar survives close semifinal battle, topping Richmond 21-20. Lamar will play Lutheran St. Charles in the championship game at 3:00 p.m. on Friday the 3rd in Columbia, Mo.


Lamar aims to return to state championship game

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.


Lamar’s Heins runs barefoot, places 11th at Big 8 Championships

LAMAR, Mo. – When Pierce Heins crossed the finish line on Tuesday at the Big 8 Conference Championships something was missing.

“I didn’t notice until the second lap,” says head coach, Rodney Baldridge. “They ran as a pack. They were all packed together and I was watching their upper bodies and how their arms were moving, not at their feet.”

Heins, a sophomore at Lamar High School, was barefoot.

“We started the race and some people in front of me slowed down,” Heins says. “Someone stepped on my shoe from the back and it came off.”

Then, came a brief rush of panic.

“I was very nervous,” Heins says. “My adrenaline was through the roof. I didn’t know what to do.”

Heins remembered that his coach had prepared him and his teammates for this exact situation.

“Coach always says it’s better to run with no shoes than one shoe,” Heins says. “I thought about stopping and putting it back on, but the first thing that came to my mind was to take the other shoe off and continue running. I ran the entire race with no shoes on.”

This unexpected obstacle presented many challenges.

“There were walnuts and rocks on the path and people stepped on my feet. My socks got wet, so I didn’t have any traction and I was slipping all over the place,” Heins says. “My feet are very sore, but I think they’ll be fine.”

Faced with adversity, Heins persevered. He finished in 11th place at the conference championships.

“I felt very confident and pleased that I did well without any shoes on,” Heins says. “I learned when challenges present themselves you have to adapt and even if you are faced with challenges you can still do well.”

“He handled it very well,” Baldridge says. “A lot of kids would not have been able to handle that. It showed mental toughness.”

Now, Heins is preparing for the district tournament on October 30th.

“I hope to do well enough to qualify for state,” Heins says. “I also plan to set a personal record.”

“He’s got a lot of potential,” Baldridge says. “We hope he gets to state and if so, preforms well.”

Moving forward, Heins confirms, “I’ll be wearing shoes.”


Undefeated Lamar and Nevada prepare for Silver Tiger Rivalry

“It started a long long time ago,” says Lamar head coach Jared Beshore. “Lamar and Nevada have been playing against each other since 1933.”

The Silver Tiger Rivalry is rich in tradition and history.

“It’s just interesting hearing the stories from the guys going back into the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s,” says Nevada head coach Wes Beachler.

This 2021 matchup makes for a good story too.

“This has got to be one of the most highly anticipated Silver Tiger games just due of the fact that both of us have had some of early season success,” Beshore says. “They’re 3-0, we’re 3-0. I don’t know if that’s every happened in the history of the Silver Tiger game. There’s going to be a lot riding on this one.”

Both teams are averaging more than 40 points per game.

“Our defense is going to have our hands full,” Beshore says. “Nevada is extremely physical, a downhill run game, they are a run-first team, and they have a lot of cats to hand the ball to.”

“Our main focus is possession of the ball,” Beachler says. “They have an explosive offense, so we need to have sustained drives and we need to keep the ball out of their hands. I think one thing that teams haven’t be able do against Lamar is to force them to punt a lot, so we need to get some stops on defense.”

Lamar and Nevada’s strengths on offense are nearly identical.

“Our offensive line is playing extremely well,” Beshore says. “We’re playing downhill and our backs are running hard, physical, not being brought down by one tackler.”

“I think we just have a combination of a good offensive line that plays hard and backs that are difficult to tackle in space,” Beachler says.

The Silver Tiger has been in Lamar’s possession since 2005… but Nevada… is focused on more than just reclaiming the trophy.

“We’re just trying to take it as another step towards trying to get to big 8 conference championship,” Beachler says.


FULL HIGHLIGHTS: Joplin jamboree with Webb City, Lamar and Seneca

FIRST SESSION: Webb City vs. Lamar

Logan Kish (Lamar) rush TD

Cade Wilson (Webb City) rush TD

Riley Heckadon (Lamar) interception

Cameron Sturgell (Lamar) fumble recovery

Cohl Vaden (Webb City) to Eric Fitch pass TD

Cameron Sturgell (Lamar) fumble recovery

Aidan Alberty (Webb City) rush TD

Breckin Galardo (Webb City) rush TD

FIRST SESSION: Joplin vs. Seneca (@ 1:09)

Luke Vieselmeyer (Joplin) interception

Quinton Renfro (Joplin) rush TD

Chavis Coleman (Joplin) rush TD

Clayton Culie (Joplin) rush TD

Hobbs Gooch (Joplin) to Bruce Wilbert pass TD

Kaden Gilmore (Joplin) to Jett Beal pass TD

SECOND SESSION: Joplin vs. Lamar (@ 1:49)

Trace Wilhite (Lamar) rush TD

Austin Wilkerson (Lamar) interception

Jacob Britton (Joplin) rush TD

SECOND SESSION: Webb City vs. Seneca (@ 2:13)

Dupree Jackson (Webb City) rush TD

Gavin Stowell (Webb City) rush TD

Gage Chapman (Webb City) to William Hayes pass TD