Joel Wyatt, head Zizzer football coach, recently updated the West Plains Sunrise Rotary Club on the current football season.
Starting the season at three wins and a loss, they hit a rough stretch beginning with a loss to the Camdenton Lakers. The next week saw the ZIzzers leading Kickapoo 27 to 13 early in the game, only to fall to the Chiefs 49 to 35, and then to Lebanon Yellowjackets the next week 52 to 14. The Lebanon game was similar to Camdenton, Wyatt said in his update, which was given just a day before the Zizzers’ 44-20 home field victory over Parkview, noting the team has had issues with turnovers, including fumbling the ball on kickoff at Lebanon.
Wyatt noted that factors affecting the team’s performance include team size and depth, with Kickapoo fielding 88 players compared to West Plains’ 36, requiring Zizzers to play both offense and defense. The boys work hard all week at practice, and are resilient, he said. Lack of experience has hurt the Zizzers as well, with the team starting five sophomores with 150-pound linemen lining up against 220-pounders.
Next year’s team promises to be different with a number of returning starters, and the freshman team has shown great progress, said Wyatt, who also said he is excited about the new Ozarks Mountain Conference comprised of West Plains, Branson, Rogersville, Marshfield, Carl Junction and Bolivar and the chance to play new people.
When asked about the post-season, the Zizzers are the No. 2 seed; Bolivar, No. 1; and McDonald County is No. 3. The ZIzzers will face off against Monett in their first post season game.