CAMDENTON, MO - The pressure is off for Camdenton Lakers head coach Jeff Shore. The son of hall of fame coach Bob Shore is back for his 2nd season as head coach, and fresh off a class 5 state quarterfinal appearance.
HEAD COACH - Jeff Shore, 2nd season, 16 total at Camdenton
2011 RECORD - 7-6, lost to Kirkwood in class 5 quarterfinals (won 5 of last 6)
RETURNING STARTERS - 9 offense, 7 defense
PLAYERS TO WATCH - Murphy Ward (Sr. RB), Justin Bernabe (Sr. RB), Cory Simpson (Sr. QB), Kyle Rizer (Jr. OG)
A slow start to the 2011 season ended with a huge finish. The Lakers won 5 straight games before finally being knocked out by Kirkwood in the class 5 quarterfinals. And this year, the purple and gold are looking for even more.
"There's absolutely high expectations," said 2nd year head coach Jeff Shore." "They're high every year. Our ultimate goal is to win every game, and we feel like we can do that."
Leading the way offensively is senior running back Murphy Ward. The compact framed Ward rushed for over 1,500 yards as a junior and is now just 30 yards shy of the school's all-time rushing record.
"Murphy is a wonderful kid; one of the finest young men you'll meet, and on top of that he's an outstanding football player. He'll hit you as hard as he can and then he'll help you back up."
Joining him in the backfield is fellow senior Justin Bernabe, who rushed for over 500 yards last season and expects an even bigger role this fall.
"Justin would arguably start for any other team."
While the Lakers have a potent rushing attack, coach Shore says their passing attack is a valuable added weapon. Cory Simpson returns for his 2nd season as starting quarterback. Senior tight end Chase Nugent and wide receiver Cullen Carlock will be 2 of his top targets.
Camdenton opens the season August 24th at Hillcrest, then at West Plains, before the home opener September 7th vs. rival Lebanon. That game will be played for the first ever "Highway 5" traveling trophy.