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.””
At 15-6 overall, the Lebanon High School girls’ tennis team saw their season come to an end after a 5-1 loss to the Republic Tigers on Tuesday afternoon at the Mary Jean Wampler Tennis Complex in the Class 3 District 5 semifinals.
After losing top player Olivia McGruder to an injury last week, the Lady ‘Jackets showed toughness and grittiness, according to head coach Ron Crowell.
“This team never quits and today was no different,” said Crowell. “They fought hard and competed at a high-level before falling to a very good Republic team.”
Lebanon got their lone win from Kelsey Daugherty and Destiney Stokes at No. 1 doubles over Lilly Carlo and Ellsyna Woodward, 8-6.
The Lady ‘Jackets fell in a tough 8-6 loss at No. 2 doubles and 8-4 loss at No. 3 doubles.
“Everyone competed well and the score doesn’t tell how close this match was,” Crowell explained. “Words cannot express how proud I am of this team.”
Lebanon finished second in the Ozark Conference Tournament and Brooklyn Arthur, Carly Miller, Daugherty, and McGruder each earned All-District honors.
“This team has reached heights the last two seasons that have never been reached before by a Lebanon team and I am very thankful for this team and all of their hard work.”
|Kelsey Daugherty||Vs.||Mari Davidson||3-6,2-6 L|
|Destiney Stokes||Vs.||Lilly Carlo|
|Brooklyn Arthur||Vs.||Marilyn Carpenter|
|Carly Miller||Vs.||Ellsyna Woodward||1-6, 0-6 L|
|Bailey Lowrance||Vs.||Ella Lashley|
|Opal Antoszewski||Vs.||Katelyn Teeter||0-6,2-6 L|
|Daugherty/ Stokes||Vs.||Carlo/ Woodward||8-6 W|
|Arthur/Miller||Vs.||Davidson/ Henry||6-8 L|
|Lowrance/ Hendrix||Vs.||Lashley/ Teeter||4-8 L|
|Final Score:||1-5 L|
The Lebanon High School girls’ tennis team has been on a roll during the 2023 campaign.
Their successful season continued into the Ozark Conference tournament this week with the Lady ‘Jackets finishing runners-up.
In the finals, Lebanon lost to Bolivar in a close match, 5-4.
“Words cannot express how proud I am of this team,” head coach Ron Crowell said. “They fought to the end. They pulled off a huge upset over the defending conference champions (Glendale) and had a chance to get another big win over the top seed Bolivar where we lost 4-5 in a heart breaker.
“The kids played great all day and it may be the highest finish we have ever had at the conference tournament. This team has accomplished big things this season and we just couldn’t quite finish a super close match in the conference finals.”
Lebanon (14-5 overall) took two out of three doubles matches against the Liberators with the No. 1 team of Olivia McGruder and Destiny Stokes winning 8-4. The No. 2 doubles team of Kelsey Daugherty and Bailey Lowrance also won, 8-6.
In singles action, Stokes and Carly Miller won their matches, respectively.
The team is playing in the Class 3 District 5 tournament on Friday.
Below are results and stats from all the matches Lebanon played in during the OC tournament.
|Carly Miller||Vs.||8-1 W|
|Bailey Lowrance||Vs.||8-4 W|
|McGruder/ Stokes||Vs.||8-0 W|
|Final Score:||5-0 W|
|Olivia McGruder||Vs.||3-8 L|
|Kelsey Daugherty||Vs.||1-8 L|
|Destiney Stokes||Vs.||8-4 W|
|Brooklyn Arthur||Vs.||8-3 W|
|Carly Miller||Vs.||8-0 W|
|Bailey Lowrance||Vs.||8-3 W|
|McGruder/ Stokes||Vs.||5-8 L|
|Final Score:||5-4 W|
|Olivia McGruder||Vs.||6-8 L|
|Kelsey Daugherty||Vs.||4-8 L|
|Destiney Stokes||Vs.||8-3 W|
|Brooklyn Arthur||Vs.||4-8 L|
|Carly Miller||Vs.||8-6 W|
|Bailey Lowrance||Vs.||2-8 L|
|McGruder/ Stokes||Vs.||8-4 W|
|Final Score:||4-5 L|
Lebanon High School had plenty of activities going on during the afternoon on Monday, Sept. 18.
Below are scores and updates from games from around the school.
LHS GIRLS’ TENNIS: Willard 4, Lebanon 5 (Record 8-4 overall)
“It was our senior night and we also got to honor a fantastic group of seniors that have led us to a great deal of success. Kelsey Daugherty, Destiney Stokes, Brooklyn Arthur, Carly Miller, Bailey Lowrance, Adali Hendrix, Amelia Norris, and Mary Oberdieck. This group has been a part of historic wins and they are enjoying a fantastic season and it is a result of their hard work and character. I am super proud of this group.” – head coach Ron Crowell
“We expected a close match and it came down to the final match where Bailey Lowrance won 8-2 in singles to secure the win. Olivia McGruder played great at #1 singles and Kelsey Daugherty dominated at # 2 singles. She played great and gets better with every match. Brooklyn Arthur won 8-6 in a pivotal match. she closed that match out by playing some of her best tennis of the season and came from behind to win. We won despite losing 2 heartbreaking matches in doubles. We lost a hardfought tiebreaker at #1 doubles and a tough 7-9 match at #2 doubles. Carly Miller and Brooklyn Arthur dominated at #3 doubles which was a huge win for us. There was no quit in this team and they bounced back in singles to win 4 out of 6 matches to secure the win.” – Crowell
Lebanon plays Osage on Tuesday.
JV: Bolivar 16, Lebanon 41
Freshman: Bolivar 38, Lebanon 16
Both teams play Waynesville next Monday.
Full recap here. Varsity: Hartville 2, Lebanon 11
Junior Varsity: Hartville 0, Lebanon 6
Softball will host Rolla on Thursday and play at Waynesville today.
It was a 3-team sweep for the LHS Volleyball Program over Willard.
Varsity win in 3 sets
25-12, 25-18, 25-22
JV wins in 2 sets
Freshman win in 3
25-16, 22-25, 15-6
“Our freshman did a nice job all the way around from serving to defending and then transitioning into the offense. Our freshman middles had a nice night at the net with both Lily Bradbury and Maeli Hendrix earning 18 kills together. Many times our middles are the first to be taken out of the offense, but for our two middles to earn that many kills our passers had to be doing a great job delivering a solid pass. They are currently 13-4-1 on the season.
The JV team won in two sets and they did a nice job serving the ball aggressively giving themselves opportunities to receive balls over the net that they were easily able to transition into our offense. Our JV setters Baylyn Williams and Addi Dent are doing a nice job working with all of the hitters and helping them to find ways to be successful offensively. They are currently 13-3-3 on the season.
Very proud of our varsity team’s effort tonight. As a whole, we serve-received the ball well which is so important in setting up a first ball aggressive attack. Addy Rebmann, Saylor Helton, & Addy Collins did a very nice job giving us great opportunity right from the get-go. We weren’t in serve-receive long, which is good giving us control with the serve. Saylor Helton had a fantastic night behind her serve earning 4 aces and pulling Willard out-of-system for quite a few more. Both of our outsides, Saylor Helton (10) & Addy Rebmann (18) were fire on the outsides tonight. They led our team in hitting but also had solid hitting percentages to back up their kills. Raylee Quick, Ciaria Keeney, Kaidynce Buttram & Morgan Durbin also added 4-6 kills of their own which is always nice when the offense is spread and we are seeing kills from all positions on the court. Addy Collins led us in digs with 18 and Morgan Durbin assisted with 16 of her own. The two of them work together well as when setter Morgan has to dig the first ball, Addy C is there to deliver a highly attackable ball to our hitters.” – Jenny Collins
Aces: Saylor Helton & Kaylee Uder 4, Kaidynce Buttram 2
Kills: Addy Rebmann 18, Saylor Helton 10, Ciaria Keeney 6, Kaidynce Buttram & Morgan Durbin & Raylee Quick 4
Assist: Morgan Durbin 31, Addy Collins 7
Blocks: Addy Rebmann & Kaidynce Buttram 1
Digs: Addy Collins 18, Morgan Durbin 16, Addy Rebmann & Saylor Helton 7
JV Stat leaders:
Aces: Rilee Jackson & Lily Waterman 3, Baylyn Williams 2
Kills: Lily Wateran 6, Rilee Jackson 5, Nicole Winfrey 3
Assists: Baylyn Williams 10, Addison Dent 9
Digs: Kaylee Uder 9, Lily Waterman 8, Baylyn Williams 6
Freshman State leaders:
Aces: Addalynne Buttram 5, Zoey Durbin 4
Kills: Lily Bradbury 11, Maeli Hendrix 7
Assists: Zoey Durbin 18
Digs: Addalynne Buttram 16, Zoey Durbin 10
Weather played a little bit of a factor in Monday’s Ozark Conference matchup between the Waynesville Tigers and Lebanon Yellowjackets at the Mary Jean Wampler Tennis Complex.
Despite the shortened match, Lebanon (5-2 overall) came out on top over the Tigers, 5-2.
Lebanon won five out of six singles matches to seal the win up as Olivia McGruder, Kelsey Daugherty, Destiney Stokes, Carly Miller, and Bailey Lowrance all won their respective matches.
“Olivia was dominant again,” head coach Ron Crowell said. “Kelsey had to come from behind to win 8-6. Destiney also pulled out a hard fought 8-6 win and Carly and Bailey were dominant in singles. It was a good team effort.
“Our JV also played very well sweeping the junior varsity matches.”
Lebanon will play Bolivar today and travel to Rolla on Thursday.
Below are results of all the matches:
|Olivia McGruder||Vs.||Chrisman Sadie||8-3 W|
|Kelsey Daugherty||Vs.||Duncan Maya||8-6 W|
|Destiney Stokes||Vs.||Moffet Mekenzie||8- 6 W|
|Brooklyn Arthur||Vs.||Lebioda Victoria||6-8 L|
|Carly Miller||Vs.||Faley Madison||8-2 W|
|Bailey Lowrance||Vs.||Lercher Lauryn||8-2 W|
|McGruder/ Stokes||Vs.||Chrisman/ Duncan||unfinished|
|Final Score:||5-1 W|
|Team Record||5- 2|
|JV Doubles||JV Singles|
|Doubles||Opal Antoszewski||6-0 W|
|Hendrix/ Antoszewski||6-2 w|
|Coryell/ Martin||6-3 w|
|Cox/ Jemes||6-1 w|
|Johnson/ Blankenship||6-3 w|
|Oberdieck/ Norris||6-0 w|
|Guccione/ Addi Stark||6-1 w|
|Caley/ Clifton||6-2 w|
|Leake/Abbie Stark||6-1 w|
|Carlson/ Tackas||6-2 W|
It has been a solid week for head coach Ron Crowell and the Lebanon High School girls’ tennis program this week.
On Tuesday, Lebanon (4-1 overall) defeated the West Plains Zizzers 9-0 and then took down the Kickapoo Chiefs for the second time in program history on Wednesday, 7-2.
“It was a big win,” Crowell explained. “The team did a great job, and it was a great team effort. It is only the second time we have beaten Kickapoo since I have been here, and maybe ever. We did beat them last year in a very close match at our place last season.
“Kickapoo has been one of the dominant teams in the conference for a long time.”
At No. 1 doubles against Kickapoo, Olivia McGruder and Destiny Stokes teamed up for an 8-4 win. At No. 3 doubles, Brooklyn Arthur and Carly Miller won their match 8-2.
After taking 2 out of 3 doubles matches, Lebanon dominated at the No. 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 spots for singles.
“Olivia also dominated at No. 1 singles, and Kelsey Daugherty recovered from being down 0-3, and she came back and won 8-3,” Crowell said. “She (Daugherty) played fantastic after the slow start, giving us a big lift. Destiney had a big win at No. 3 singles. Carly Miller also came from behind to win 8-5 in singles, and Bailey clinched the match with her 8-2 win.”
Lebanon is scheduled to play defending conference champions Glendale today (9-7).
Below is a full result from the West Plains and Kickapoo matches:
|Olivia McGruder||Vs.||Leah Martin||8-0 W|
|Kelsey Daugherty||Vs.||Windsor Brotherton||8-3 W|
|Destiney Stokes||Vs.||Summer Weems||8-4 W|
|Brooklyn Arthur||Vs.||Chloe Dinamarca||2-8 L|
|Carly Miller||Vs.||Isabella McDonnell||8-5 W|
|Bailey Lowrance||Vs.||Bella Brashers||8-2 W|
|McGruder/ Stokes||Vs.||Martin/ Weems||8-4 W|
|Daugherty/Lowrance||Vs.||Brotherton/ McDonnell||5-8 L|
|Arthur/Miller||Vs.||Dinamarca/ Brashers||8-2 W|
|Final Score:||7-2 W|
|Team Record||4- 1|
|*Hendrix/ Antoszewski||3-6 L||Adalyn Corryell||3-6 L|
|Coryell/ Martin||2-6 L, 1-6 L||Hope Cox||3-6 L|
|Cox/ Carlson||1-6 L, 0-6 L||Mary Oberdieck||2-6 L|
|Johnson/ Blankenship||2-6 L, 6-1 W, 2-6 L|
|Oberdieck/ Norris||6-3 W, 3-6 L||Ray Guccione||6-0 W|
|Guccione/ Addi Stark||2-6 L, 6-2 W, 1-6 L||Amelia Norris||4-4 tie|
|Caley/ Clifton||2-6 L, 3-6 L, 4-6 L|
|Oberdieck/Norris*||Adali Hendrix||6-7 L|
|Leake/Abbie Stark||4-6 L, 2-6 L, 1-6 L|
|Howser/ Tackas||0-6 L, 0-6 L|
|Olivia McGruder||Vs.||Pierce||8-0 W|
|Kelsey Daugherty||Vs.||Cobb||8-3 W|
|Destiney Stokes||Vs.||Tugwell||8-0 W|
|Brooklyn Arthur||Vs.||Barry||8-1 W|
|Carly Miller||Vs.||Coats||8-1 W|
|Bailey Lowrance||Vs.||Hood||8-6 W|
|McGruder/ Stokes||Vs.||Pierce/Cobb||8-1 W|
|Final Score:||9-0 W|
|Team Record||3- 1|
|*Hendrix/ Antoszewski||6-3 W||Opal Antoszewski||4-6 L|
|Coryell/ Martin||6-4 W||Adalyn Corryell||4-1 W|
|Cox/Jemes||6-3 W||Hope Cox||4-0 W|
|Johnson/ Blankenship||6-1 W||Emma Johnson||2-4 L|
|*Hendrix/ *Norris||6-0 W||Tommia Blankenship||4-2 W|
|Guccione/ Addi Stark||6-1 W||Aleyah Jemes||4-2 W|
|Caley/ Clifton||6-2 W||Rayleigh Guccione||4-0 W|
|Oberdieck/Norris*||6-0 W||Ally Martin||4-1 W|
|Leake/Abbie Stark||6-2 W|
|Howser/ Tackas||6-4 W|