Camdenton, Lebanon Add Trophy To Rivalry

Published 09/13 2013 02:52PM

Updated 09/13 2013 06:40PM

LEBANON, Mo. -- It's not a new rivalry, but it's getting a new wrinkle.

"It's called the Highway 5 Traveling Trophy," explained Lebanon coach Will Christian.

For the second straight year, Camdenton and Lebanon will meet with hardware on the line.

"Kind of goes in line with your college trophy games," Christian said. "I think it just adds to what really is an outstanding rivalry."

It's been as advertised lately. Lebanon won last year's regular-season match up 46-21, their fifth straight win over the Lakers.

"Bragging rights," said Lebanon linebacker Austin Evans. "We're so close together and they beat us for so many years. It's just nice to come back at them."

But the teams met again in the district championship where Camdenton got back on top with a 42-21 victory.

"We never forget," said Evans. "That was our motivation all year."

So after the district championship game the trophy now belongs up here in Camdenton, where Jeff Shore's team likes to keep it loose, by the lake.

Thursday's are certainly casual in Camdenton. Something coach Jeff Shore's father Bob instituted during his championsihp days.

"We just kind of kept it that way," Shore said. "As a player you feel like the hays in the barn Tuesday and Wednesday, and you want to come out and enjoy it and you're excited about playing."

And players like 80s-loving defensive tackle Taz Rizer, certainly enjoy the party time.

"You don't want to have too much stress, and you don't want to risk injury before a game," Rizer said. "Just a little bit of fun, a little bit of team bonding."

This year the Lakers hope to return to a 4th straight quarterfinal, but their ultimate goal is to get back to where they once were. The Lakers boast five state titles.

"We're looking week by week trying to get better each week," Rizer said. "Try and survive to the dome."

But down Highway 5 in Lebanon, Will Christian's Yellow Jackets have become a formidable foe, winning two Ozarks Conference titles in four years.

"This is one that helps get through the grind of things in the regular season," Christian said, "and a great rivalry between the two schools that has a trophy tied in to it so it's a lot of fun."

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