Bolivar’s Friday night lights won’t shine again until next year.
Liberator football finished its 2020-21 season 7-3 after a 2-round playoff run earlier this month.
The Liberators flew high and fell low over the course of 10 games across 11 weeks, starting out their season on a 3-0 run, including a 42-7 win over Parkview that Bolivar achieved despite having its first five quarterbacks off the field due to COVID-19 injuries and precautionary quarantines.
The Bolivar run continued until it came across Glendale, which bested the Liberators 20-15 in a Springfield game Bolivar never looked comfortable in.
The Liberators didn’t stay down long, though, traveling the long road north to Camdenton, where Bolivar blitzed the Lakers 38-26.
The high lasted one week. A home game against Waynesville started stale, with the field lights and video board at Southwest Baptist University nonfunctional. But, while the lights came on in the second half, the Liberators stayed somewhat in the dark. After trailing, Bolivar retook the lead only to lose it on an uncontested late onside kick officials ruled had traveled the required 10 yards. Waynesville used the advantage to take the game.
Vindication came a week later against Class 6 Kickapoo. The Liberators surrendered a pair of fumbles and 14 points early on but charged back to score 34 uncontested points and take the win against the larger program.
Then, Bolivar gave the Ozark Conference an even bigger shock.
The Liberators pummeled then-undefeated conference leader West Plains.
In a game where tensions ran high, the Liberators stayed cool to win 42-21.
Bolivar received a bye in the first round of the Class 4 District 6 tournament, then faced Warrensburg on Friday, Nov. 6.
The two teams, evenly matched, dueled back and forth until a questionable call and a late score gave Warrensburg the win.