Lincoln's Football Camp Opens With High Expectations

Johnie J. Logue
Enterprise Staff
Head Coach Kevin LaFavor, Nathan Jobe, Gage Kahler, Bo Kroenke and Jackson Beaman sat  in a small tent after the huge 44-0 loss on December 1, to Hayti in the state championship game in Columbia, MO  last season. Construction was going on and so the post game interviews were conducted inside a 10x10 tent. Beaman apologized for his performance and Kroenke, without his usual grin, just sat there. They vowed to be back next year.
One could feel the frustration and the disappointment. They had just played a team with six D-1 prospects and the loss was devastating. The huge underdog wanted a better performance and wanted to be the first team in school history to win a state championship. The girls softball team would take that honor at the end of the school year.
By the way, it could had been worst. They could have been in Class 2 and played super power Blair Oaks.
So here we are eight months later at football camp. It is 90 degrees, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, but the bitter taste of defeat is still there and the memory lingers on. On the other side of the coin, is the fact that they were 13-2 and made it to the state championship. A very proud achievement for a school of 108 students.
Jobe, Kahler, Landon Bond ,Dustin Roark, Evan Schwedler, Rider Smith and Pablo Molina are gone. Bo Kroenke hurt his back on the first day of camp. Beaman is still nursing his injured arm of a year ago. Yes, those are your two starting quarterbacks.
Down the field, Junior kicker Devon Parrott works out all alone. He is the kid that the doctors said couldn’t play football but here he is as the best kicker in Benton County by far. He is no longer a secret weapon but he is truly a deadly weapon at the close of a game.
Coach Kevin LaFavor will have to replace his graduated seniors  and build on the momentum of a year ago. Somebody will have to step up and with just 30 players, the freshmen will probably be called upon to play a key role somewhere down the line.
Seniors Tanner Bays and Hayden Beaman will man the line. Joe Bittner, Parker Engles and Nate Hesse also return for their final go around.
August 1, was kind to local football teams as it was cool and overcast. Monday wasn’t bad but Tuesday was rough, Wednesday was fair but Thursday was kind. Summer is not over by any means. Dead week is next week and the Warsaw kids have promised to work out on their own. Be sure that kids on winning teams across the state will be out there in spite of the weather.