Boys must replace nine seniors

December 3, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

There is not much experience across the Liberty boys basketball 15-man roster, especially after nine seniors from the team graduated last year.

But what the team lacks in game minutes, it makes up for with a deeper understanding of second-year Liberty coach Omar Parker’s philosophy.

“We have a huge advantage on last year in that we have a culture and we understand some of the program language now,” Parker said.

Parker’s team has just four seniors, and though only three of them received playing time last year, he’ll look to them for leadership.

Kellen Birdsall, Dayton Mackay and Austin Mackey are the three returning Patriots with some minor experience under their belts.

“Kellen Birdsall played the second half of last year, Dayton Mackay had a number of double-figure scoring games last year and Austin started as kind of a role player,” Parker said.

Parker said he would look to newcomers Payton Frey and freshman Mike Walter to step up this year. Frey, a junior, has the talent to stand among the KingCo League’s top shooters, Parker said.

Assistant coaches Bill McIntyre and Rob Marlow return for the Patriots, along with a new one in former Seattle Times sports columnist Steve Kelley.

“Steve has been a great addition,” Parker said. “He’s been a great sounding board for me. He’s been around the best coaches in the world.”

One thing that hasn’t changed for the Patriots is an unrivaled work ethic. Liberty practiced through the Thanksgiving break, and even held a voluntary workout on the holiday.

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