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Coach Lasalle takes the reins to guide the football Liberators


Jamie LaSalle, a seasoned veteran of 21-years of football coaching, starts his first season with the Bolivar Liberators. Spending his career with some quality programs while coaching at his hometown Miller, Greenfield, Fair Grove, Sarcoxie, Marionville and East Newton.

LaSalle inherits 17 returning letter men and says there is talent there. The Liberators have 65 players who have come to meet the challenge in 2023. Due to the numbers Lasalle says it will take players from all four grades to mold the team he envisions.

The assistant coaching staff remains the same as last year with one new addition, Nate DeRosett will serve as a wide receiver coach.

The Liberators core will be made up of six All-Ozark conference players from last year, Boone Shockley (wr, db, punter), Gardner Casey (wr, db), Luke Dill (fb,lb), Mason McCurry (lb, rb), Christian Jenkins (lm) and Owen McCullah (db).

Lasalle says the offense will be a mix of pass and run.

The Liberator offense will be directed by senior Drake Durham. LaSalle praised him for his hard work in the off-season and the leadership skills he has developed. He says Drake has become a much stronger passer.

Trenton Patke has been doing great and should be a great runner this year. He is also looking to see how Braden Benjamin, a 300-lb guard performs.

Shockley brings a lot to the table with his speed and punting skills.

Looking to improve on last season's five wins, LaSalle understands the overwhelming challenges the larger schools in the Ozark Conference present, stating that some of the schools have more boys in high school than Bolivar has total students.

The Liberators will face Parkview, Willard and Cassville on Friday, Aug.18 at 7 p.m. in a Jamboree at Plaster Stadium at Southwest Baptist University to fine tune their strategy for the home opener on Friday, Aug. 25.