It is the start of Winter sports season and the Missouri State High School Activities Association released the Class and District assignments for the upcoming 2023-24 campaign on Friday.
Below is each fall sport’s class and district along with their respective opponents.
Boys’ Basketball: Class 6 District 2 – Eureka, Kirkwood, Lafayette (Wildwood), Lebanon, Marquette, Northwest (Cedar Hill), Parkway South, and Waynesville.
Girls’ Basketball: Class 6 District 5 – Central, Glendale, Kickapoo, Lebanon, Nixa, Ozark, Republic, and Willard.
Boys’ Wrestling: Class 4 District 3 – Carthage, Central, Glendale, Joplin, Kickapoo, Lebanon, Lee’s Summit, Lee’s Summit West, Neosho, Nixa, Ozark, Ray-Pec, Republic, Smith-Cotton, Waynesville, and Willard.
Girls’ Wrestling: Class 2 District 3- Belton, Branson, Camdenton, Carthage, Central, Glendale, Joplin, Kickapoo, Lebanon, Lee’s Summit West, Neosho, Nixa, Ozark, Parkview, Ray-Pec, Republic, Rolla, Smith-Cotton, Waynesville, Webb City, and Willard.
Girls’ Swimming: Class 1 – Ladue Horton Watkins to host. Full list of schools can be found here.
The Boys Varsity Swim team continued improving the swim times at the Springfield Invitational on Saturday.
Junior Benjamin Nelson improved his 100 Free State consideration time by almost a half second.
Freshman Adam Keen improved his personal best times in the 200 and 100 free by over three seconds.
Sophomore Eli Havens improved his 50 free time by a quarter of a second. Freshman Hunter improved both his 50 and 100 free times by more than 1.5 seconds. Freshman Jackson Fisher joined with Nelson, Havens and Price to post a state consideration time in the 400 Free relay.
At the OC Conference Championship Swim Meet, Nelson posted a State consideration time in the 100 freestyle and just missed qualifying in the 50 free.
Havens posted personal bests in the 50 free and 100-butterfly. Keen improved his 200 free time by 10 seconds and his 500 free time by 15 seconds.
Hunter Fore posted personal best times in the 50 and 100 Free. The 200 free-relay of Nelson, Havens, Fisher and Fore also posted a state consideration time.
The Lebanon High School varsity swim finished 5th at the Red Bird Invitational on Saturday.
Benjamin Nelson finished 4th in the 200 and 500 freestyle. He dropped his 200 free time by 2.5 seconds. Sophomore Eli Havens finished 6th in the 200 individual medley and 100-butterfly, improving his 200 time by 3.5 seconds.
Freshman Jackson Fisher finished 6th in his first 500 free. Sophomore Levi Price, Freshman Hunter Fore and Adam Keen all swam personal best times in the meet. The 200-medley relay of Keen, Fore Fisher and Price finished 6th while the 400 free relay of Nelson, Fore, Price and Havens finished 5th.
“Great results all around, the team continues to improve.” said coach David Krev.
Rumors that had been swirling around for months finally came to fruition on Wednesday morning when the creation of a new conference was announced.
Beginning in August of 2024, the Ozark Mountain Conference will come into existence.
The conference will consist of two former Ozark Conference schools in Bolivar and West Plains, two former Central Ozark Conference schools in Branson and Carl Junction, and two former Big 8 schools in Marshfield and Rogersville.
The big sport that the new conference will affect is football, as the Ozark Conference and Central Ozark Conference haven’t been able to play outside conference games for nearly 12 years in the regular season.
Moving forward, the Yellowjackets will have to schedule two non-conference games to play during the regular season after a 10-team conference meant a nine-game schedule against the rest of the conference.
As of Wednesday morning, decisions haven’t been made on what that will look like.
The following statements were made by the Bolivar and West Plains School Districts:
“A groundbreaking initiative is set to transform the educational and athletic landscape of public schools across southern Missouri. A newly established Ozark Mountain Conference is poised to kick off its inaugural competitive season in the fall of 2024. The new conference is a culmination of collaborative efforts by schools with shared values, sizes, and community beliefs.
A spokesperson for the conference expressed enthusiasm about the prospects, stating, “We are excited about this new opportunity for our schools and our kids. These schools came together looking for a ‘good fit,’ noting they have similar sizes, community beliefs, and district characteristics.””
“The Ozark Mountain Conference brings together districts that are similar in enrollment numbers, as well as shared values and community beliefs. High school enrollment numbers: Branson: 1,350, West Plains: 1,152, Carl Junction: 1,011, Marshfield: 903, Bolivar: 858, Logan-Rogersville: 734.
“These schools are well known for rich traditions and excellence in academics and athletics,”
said Dr. Richard Asbill, Superintendent of Bolivar Schools. “We are excited about the opportunities the Ozark Mountain Conference will offer our students.”
“Moving into a six-team conference of schools our size will allow us to continue to compete at a
high level while giving us flexibility in our non-conference schedule,” said Tim Pezzetti, Athletic
Director. “We are excited to be a founding member of the Ozark Mountain Conference, and we
appreciate the opportunity that the Ozark Conference has given us for the past three years.””
The Lebanon High School varsity Swim team followed up last week’s meet with another excellent performance.
Junior Benjamin Nelson led the way, improving 11 seconds in the 500 Free, good for 3rd place. He dropped his 200 free by five seconds to take 5th place. Both were personal best times.
Sophomore Eli Havens took 6th place with a two second improvement in the 100 butterfly and scored 10th in the 100 backstroke. Freshman Jackson Fisher improved just under a half second to break the one-minute mark for a 100 free.
Sophomore Levi Price, Freshman Adam Keen and Hunter Fore combined with Nelson, Havens and Fisher, to capture two 6th place and a 7th place finishes in the relays.
This resulted in the team finishing fourth out of eight schools competing.
“These six swimmers did great,” head coach David Krev said. “They keep working hard and getting better. I am looking forward to the next meet and the results of their efforts.”
Lebanon will compete at Monett on Saturday afternoon.
The boys Varsity Swim team had another solid performance at the Hillcrest dual meet.
According to head coach David Krev, junior Benjamin Nelson improved his times, taking 3rd place in 100 Freestyle and 9th in the 100 backstroke.
Sophomore Eli Havens improved times earned 7th in the 50 and 100 freestyle.
Freshman Jackson Fisher placed 7th in 200 freestyle and 14th in the 100 backstroke.
Freshman Hunter Fore and Adam Keen also improved their season times.
The team’s next meet is Monett Invitational on Saturday, September 23.