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