Patriots ready to make the jump to 2A

August 29, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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By Greg Farrar Liberty High School offensive players huddle to hear the call on the next play from scrimmage June 17 during the final spring practice for the Patriots.

By Greg Farrar
Liberty High School offensive players huddle to hear the call on the next play from scrimmage June 17 during the final spring practice for the Patriots.

As the Liberty High School football team took to the gridiron for fall practices, not much looked different on the Patriots’ field.

Music blared, whistles sounded and footballs flew into the outstretched hands of open receivers.

This season will be different, though, for all Liberty sports teams, as they prepare to move from the 3A to 2A level.

“It doesn’t change the way we prepare at all,” senior Russell Boston said in the spring. “We’re just going to come out and play football like we know how.”

Liberty’s regular season schedule doesn’t change. The school is still part of the KingCo 3A/2A Conference, meaning the Patriots will continue to face the likes of Bellevue and Juanita. The nonconference schedule now includes a season-opening game against Lakewood, a 2A team, though.

Liberty will still host their Renton Highlands rivals, Hazen, during the season’s second week, Sept. 12. The schedule also includes Mount Si in what will be a nonconference game, as the Wildcats make the jump to 4A next year.

2014 Liberty football schedule

All games are at 7 p.m.

Sept. 5 @ Lakewood
Sept. 12 vs. Hazen
Sept. 19 vs. Interlake
Sept. 26 @ Lake Washington
Oct. 2 vs. Mercer Island
Oct. 10 @ Sammamish
Oct. 17 vs. Bellevue
Oct. 24 @ Juanita
Oct. 31 vs. Mount Si

Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/LibertyPatriotsFootball
 

Boston, a running back and safety, leads a senior class that head coach Steve Valach calls “one of the best” in his 16 years.

“I think we were 3-7 in their sophomore year, so they’ve seen some lean times and still kept competing,” Valach said. “There’s some talent, and then it’s bigger than ability, it’s who they are as guys.”

Seniors Nate Jarvis and Mitch McQuigg will anchor a line that should be one of the Patriots’ strengths this year. Jarvis was an all-league center and McQuigg an all-league guard last year. Noah Pritchett, a rare freshman that started on the line in 2013, also returns, but experienced some nagging injuries through the offseason, Valach said.

Valach said he’s also happy with his skill positions, where senior Drew Hall returns at running back. Hall was also a first-team all-league linebacker last year. Starting quarterback Nate Solly is back for his junior campaign.

The Liberty coach said he also expects good production from linebacker Romney Noel and lineman Quinn Magendanz, two seniors that battled injury bugs through their careers.

“Realistically, is it a goal that they play in the Tacoma Dome? I think so. I don’t think that’s an unrealistic goal,” Valach said of his team. “But I think they understand the importance of today, and it’s putting a bunch of todays together to get where you want to be.”

The Patriots’ 2014 season begins Sept. 5 at Lakewood.

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