FAIR GROVE, Mo–Welcome to week six of the high school football season, and 1st and 10.
A handful of teams are ranked in the state’s top ten, and sport unblemished records.
One of those teams is in Fair Grove, and that’s where we find KOLR 10’s Chris Pinson.
Hey dan, Fair Grove’s gotten the better of Strafford 10 of the last 15 meetings.
But you know as well as I do we can throw out the record books in an old time rivalry like this.
Besides, Fair Grove has an awful lot of motivation coming into the game.
“We don’t like losing. Our goal this year is just don’t lose,” said running back Kellen Lair.
For nearly decade, Fair Grove high school’s been a pillar of success in Class 2.
The Eagles are 84-26 since the fall of 2014.
Making the district title game the last eight consecutive years.
However, they’ve lost that championship fight every. Single. Time.
“This group, this program has not made it passed week 12 in almost 14 years, I think. Ya know we’ve had some really good teams in my time and obviously before me. These guys are motivated by this legacy of trying to be the best football team we’ve ever had,” said Eagles coach Bill Voorhis.
“We wanted it last year and when we didn’t get it last year, we were all super sad for our seniors, so this year, we thought, somehting has to change,” said Lair.
That “something” started this offseason.
“We would always get up early and work, but this year we started at 5:30 instead of 6:30 that way we can have more time to figure out stuff,” said Lair.
The biggest change, though.
Can’t be measured on a scale or in a 40-yard dash.
“We had a huge void in leadership and I don’t know if it got filled as much as it needed to get filled throughout the year, so our seniors have done a great job stepping up and making sure that is not an issue, ya know,” said Voorhis.
Entering week 6, Fair Grove is a perfect 5-0 heading into their showdown with arch rival, Strafford, who beat them last year for the first time since 2017.
The Eagles haven’t forgotten that night.
“The way we lost last year, how we got out physicalled and how bad we lost, flipped a switch in us and we never want that to happen again, never,” said Lair.
As if that wasn’t enough motivation, there’s also a little something extra on the line that’s got Eagles all fired up.
“So this game means a lot to us because it’s a way to get revenge and getting this means number one spot in districts, so we’re more ready and energized than ever,” said Lair.
So Dan, with a win Fair Grove locks up that number one seed in district 4 because they’ll be the only undefeated team in the district.
And won’t play another district game the rest of the regular season.
If they lose, well then fate has a chance to play spoiler down the road.