Bolivar High School has been approved for full membership in the Ozark Conference for the 2021-22 school year, the district learned Thursday, March 12.

According to an R-1 news release, Josh Scott, athletic director for Springfield Public Schools, told the district the “Ozark Conference principals voted, per conference by-laws, to extend the invitation for membership to BHS.”

R-1 board of education members applauded the news and district activities director Todd Schrader during Thursday’s regular session.

“On behalf of the board, thank you, Todd,” board president Paula Hubbert said. 

A former member of the Central Ozark Conference small division, BHS had been left without a conference when the organization announced it was dissolving in 2017. 

R-1 had twice unsuccessfully applied to join the Ozark Conference, both with and without football, according to previous coverage. 

The Liberators played their first series as independents in 2018. 

Late last year, the conference approved an invitation for Liberator football to join in place of Central High School for that sport only, beginning this fall. 

CHS football left to become an independent, according to previous coverage. 

A statement from Schrader and BHS principal David Geurin thanked “everyone who worked on this to make it happen.”

“We are super excited for our student-athletes, coaches, fans and community,” the statement reads. “We will do our very best to contribute and be a positive addition to a fantastic group of schools.”

The Ozark Conference includes Camdenton, Glendale, Hillcrest, Springfield Central, Kickapoo, Lebanon, Parkview, Rolla, Waynesville and West Plains high schools. 

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