Patriots’ record has lone blemish

September 30, 2015

NEW — 2:27 p.m. Sept. 30, 2015

An overtime loss is the only blemish on the Liberty High School football team’s near-perfect record so far.

The Patriots are 3-1 to start the year, with five regular-season games still to be played, including matchups against Bellevue and Mount Si.

By Greg Farrar Joseph Cunningham (right), Liberty High School senior running back, slips past Hazen sophomore safety Jaeger Scheppe (7) to the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown run during the third quarter of their Sept. 11 football game.

By Greg Farrar
Joseph Cunningham (right), Liberty High School senior running back, slips past Hazen sophomore safety Jaeger Scheppe (7) to the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown run during the third quarter of their Sept. 11 football game.

Liberty began the season with a 14-6 win over Lakewood in a game that will be remembered as the debut of junior defensive end Mikey Walter. Prior to Sept. 4, Walter never played a down of high-school football. Read more

Highlanders are off to a rocky 1-3 start

September 30, 2015

NEW — 2:24 p.m. Sept. 30, 2015

As the season approaches the halfway point, not much is going right for the Hazen High School football team.

The Highlanders are just 1-3 on the year, and two of those losses were double-digit blowouts.

By Greg Farrar Kaleb Magee (34), Hazen High School senior running back, runs the ball against Sam Harrington (left) and Alex Olague, of Liberty, during the third quarter of their Sept. 11 football game at Renton Stadium.

By Greg Farrar
Kaleb Magee (34), Hazen High School senior running back, runs the ball against Sam Harrington (left) and Alex Olague, of Liberty, during the third quarter of their Sept. 11 football game at Renton Stadium.

Hazen kicked off the season with a 35-7 nonleague loss at Lake Washington on Sept. 4. It was a game the Kangaroos dominated from the start. Read more

Inexperienced Patriots to rely on ‘grit’ in 2015

September 1, 2015

NEW — 3:18 p.m. Sept. 1, 2015

Just before the Liberty High School football team hit the locker rooms after a sun-soaked Aug. 21 practice, they gathered in an end zone and knelt on one knee.

“It’s time for ‘Spotlight on a Champion,’” Liberty coach Steve Valach announced. He asked for nominees and the players quickly identified a teammate. Once chosen, Valach ushered him to the front and put his arm around him.

By Christina Corrales-Toy A Nate Solly pass slips through the fingers of Liberty High School senior running back Max Batali at an Aug. 21 football practice at Liberty High School.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
A Nate Solly pass slips through the fingers of Liberty High School senior running back Max Batali at an Aug. 21 football practice at Liberty High School.

One by one, players and coaches threw out words such as “inspiring” and “hardworking.” They highlighted the best in the spotlighted champion’s character and made sure he heard it.“What do you know about this guy that has nothing to do with football?” he asked his team. Read more