CAMDENTON, Mo. — High school football is returning to the Ozarks as dozens of football teams will be taking the field for jamboree scrimmages tonight. 

In Camdenton, they are beginning their season with a new but familiar face. 

Since 1975, the last name Shore has been associated with Camdenton Laker football. 

Bob Shore coached the Lakers until 2011 when his son Jeff took over the reins. Starting this season, Par Pitts is set to start his own legacy as the Lakers’ head coach. 

While coach Pitts is no stranger to the Lakers program, he said he’s excited to see how his players react against top competition. 

“You wanna see how some guys can compete against some varsity skilled players. You wanna see if some guys are ready to make that next move to Friday nights,” said Pitts. 

Coach Pitts, like many other coaches across Southwest Missouri, said at this stage in time, they are ready to play against other teams other than themselves. 

Camdenton will host a football jamboree on August 18.

Coach Pitts said these are valuable reps that players and even coaches get to take advantage of because it allows you to see where different position groups are at that time and see what works and doesn’t work. 

One of the challenges of being a coach at a storied program is trying to get players to focus on the upcoming season but coach Pitts said his team does a great job of taking it one day at a time. 

“Our guys focus on the daily process, it’s not necessarily the product, it’s the process that they’re going through. As a player and a coach over the years, it’s one of those lessons that you learn. It’s not today is the end of all days, it’s not the only test you get. It’s every day, you focus on what you can control and focus on improvement,” said Pitts. 

Coach Pitts played baseball and football at Camdenton High School in the 80s and he said the impact this program has had on him has been instrumental.

Winning a state championship as a player, Coach Pitts will flip the script and try to bring another state championship to the school as a head coach. 

“It’s a lifelong dream. I’ve been fortunate to be a head coach at some other high schools along the way and I’ve been at it quite a while, I think it’s my 32nd season,” said Pitts. 

Coach Pitts played for Bob Shore and coached alongside Jeff and he said his relationship with the family is a special one. 

“It’s part of who made me who I am in terms of the mentoring that those guys have done for me and the development that those guys have allowed me to go through as both a player and coach,” said Pitts.

Starting next Friday, 1st & 10 returns on FOX 49 every Friday at 9:30, we’ll be bringing you highlights, scores, and interviews with coaches and players from all over the area.