Freshman phenoms take center stage

January 2, 2014

By Greg Farrar Freshmen varsity athletes (from left), swimmer Sydney Hartford, cross country runners and twin sisters Brigette and Kelsey Takeuchi and football player Noah Pritchett, stand by a poster in the Liberty High School commons proclaiming the motto of Patriot athletes and their student body fans, ‘We Are One.’

By Greg Farrar
Freshmen varsity athletes (from left), swimmer Sydney Hartford, cross country runners and twin sisters Brigette and Kelsey Takeuchi and football player Noah Pritchett, stand by a poster in the Liberty High School commons proclaiming the motto of Patriot athletes and their student body fans, ‘We Are One.’

Less than a year ago, Brigette and Kelsey Takeuchi, Sydney Hartford and Noah Pritchett roamed the halls at Maywood Middle School.

Fast forward to their first year at Liberty High School. Three of them have competed among the top athletes in the state, while the fourth has found a place on a varsity squad that rarely makes room for freshmen.

Liberty sports teams found a lot of success this fall, due in no small part to these budding stars.

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Patriots go 2-2 in second half

October 31, 2013

By Gary Babcock  Liberty senior Lorin Archibald catches a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nate Solly in the Patriots’ 38-7 loss to Bellevue Oct. 25.

By Gary Babcock
Liberty senior Lorin Archibald catches a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nate Solly in the Patriots’ 38-7 loss to Bellevue Oct. 25.

With just one game left in the season, the Liberty Patriots football team has a final chance to punch its ticket to the postseason.

Holding steady with a 4-4 record, it all comes down to the Nov. 1 regular season finale at Mount Si.

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Hazen finds its stride after rocky start to season

October 31, 2013

After a rocky 1-3 start for the Hazen football team, Highlanders coach Drew Oliver said his squad was close to getting over the hump.

He was right, as Hazen proceeded to go 3-1 in the season’s second half, riding a three-game win streak into the team’s Nov. 1 matchup against rival Renton.

“We’re just worried about ourselves, not anybody else,” he said. “The kids committed to that, and I think they’re starting to play with some confidence and that ‘we’ve been here before’ attitude.”

By Rob Nichols JD Peterson leaps in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nolan Hoover in Hazen’s 32-24 loss to Kennedy Catholic Oct. 4.

By Rob Nichols
JD Peterson leaps in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nolan Hoover in Hazen’s 32-24 loss to Kennedy Catholic Oct. 4.

The Highlanders kicked off the second half of the season with a 32-24 loss to Kennedy Catholic Oct. 4.

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Highlanders get off to a rocky start

October 4, 2013

By Greg Farrar Marquise Lee (3), Hazen High School junior running back, outmaneuvers Liberty senior defensive back Kasper Lui Delange during the fourth quarter at Renton Stadium.

By Greg Farrar
Marquise Lee (3), Hazen High School junior running back, outmaneuvers Liberty senior defensive back Kasper Lui Delange during the fourth quarter at Renton Stadium.

It’s been a difficult start for the 1-3 Hazen High School football team, but as Highlanders coach Drew Oliver puts it, his young squad is close to breaking out.

“We’re so close to being a good football team,” he said. “We’re certainly not there by our record and not by our performance on Friday nights, but we’re doing a lot of good things in practice.”

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At midseason, Patriots hold even

October 4, 2013

The Liberty High School football team is holding steady with a 2-2 record at the season’s midpoint, posting two convincing wins, but two blowout losses.

The Patriots began their season against Eastside Catholic Sept. 6, the team that lost to Bellevue in the 3A state championship game last year.

By Greg Farrar Russell Boston, Liberty High School junior running back, hits the jets at the midfield stripe to outrun three Juanita defenders during his 62-yard touchdown run in the second quarter Sept. 27.

By Greg Farrar
Russell Boston, Liberty High School junior running back, hits the jets at the midfield stripe to outrun three Juanita defenders during his 62-yard touchdown run in the second quarter Sept. 27.

It was an ugly 62-9 loss for the overmatched Liberty squad, but from it emerged a proud, faithful student section that’s been a steady presence in all four games this season.

Liberty students stayed even after the Crusaders put 21 points on the board in the first quarter alone. They continued to cheer as the Patriots went into halftime, down 49-6. It was not the start they hoped to see from their team, but they showed their support nonetheless.

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Liberty outlasts Hazen in Sept. 13 showdown

September 17, 2013

By Greg Farrar Marquise Lee (3), Hazen High School junior running back, works to elude Liberty defensive back Kasper Lui Delange on a play during the fourth quarter of their Sept. 13 football game at Renton Memorial Stadium.

By Greg Farrar
Marquise Lee (3), Hazen High School junior running back, works to elude Liberty defensive back Kasper Lui Delange on a play during the fourth quarter of their Sept. 13 football game at Renton Memorial Stadium.

For the second straight year, it was the Liberty student section’s right to chant “We run Renton,” when the Patriots defeated the Highlanders, 28-7. Read more

Youthful Highlanders eye league title

August 30, 2013

The Hazen High School varsity football team breaks from its rally huddle Aug. 22 at the end of afternoon practice.

The Hazen High School varsity football team breaks from its rally huddle Aug. 22 at the end of afternoon practice.

The Hazen High School football team’s 2012 season was a mostly up-and-down affair, resulting in a 5-5 record, but the team put together one of their most complete efforts in the final playoff loss to Ferndale.

The Highlanders are trying to capture that moment in a bottle for 2013, building on the positives that came with that game, Hazen head coach Drew Oliver said.

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Patriots aim to reclaim tradition

August 30, 2013

No one was unluckier than the Liberty Patriots football team last year. An already thin-in-numbers squad was hit with injury after injury in 2012.

As the injuries piled up, so too did the losses in a tough KingCo 3A/2A Conference, on the way to a 3-7 record.

Luckily, things are already looking up for the Patriots as they prepare for the 2013 campaign with a much larger turnout than last year, which should help with depth, longtime Liberty coach Steve Valach said.

Greg Farrar Nate Solly, Liberty High School sophomore quarterback, kicks footballs Aug. 23 during a Patriot team practice.

Greg Farrar
Nate Solly, Liberty High School sophomore quarterback, kicks footballs Aug. 23 during a Patriot team practice.

“We have about 25 more kids than last year,” he said.

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Bulldogs JC football preps for inaugural season

August 30, 2013

For most high school football athletes, their career on the gridiron ends when the last of the Friday night lights flicker to darkness.

Some go on to play the sport at the collegiate level and beyond, but that isn’t an option for the majority. The itch to get on the field, tackle an opponent and be a part of a unique brotherhood is not easily tossed aside, though.

Greg Farrar Dalton Darlington (right), Liberty High School graduate and defensive lineman/linebacker, blocks an offensive lineman Aug. 6 during a Bellevue Bulldogs practice.

Greg Farrar
Dalton Darlington (right), Liberty High School graduate and defensive lineman/linebacker, blocks an offensive lineman Aug. 6 during a Bellevue Bulldogs practice.

The Bellevue Bulldogs junior college football team hopes to provide the relief to that itch, and encourage athletes to remain in school while continuing their career.

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Hazen, Liberty athletes selected for all-league teams

November 8, 2012

UPDATED — 3:25 p.m. Nov. 16, 2012

As the fall sports season comes to a close, athletes from Hazen and Liberty high schools are being honored for their athletic achievements as all-league teams are announced. Players and coaches select all-league teams annually. Email additional all-league honors to newcastle@isspress.com.

Hazen boys tennis

The following Hazen High School tennis players were named to the Seamount League all-league team:

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