Liberty boys hope to recapture lighting in a bottle

March 18, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy

The pressure is on for the Liberty High School boys soccer team.

After the school’s girls team brought home the state championship, the way junior captain Ryan Graham sees it, it’s the boys’ turn to collect some hardware.

“They have their trophy, now we want to have our trophy,” he said. “That would be fantastic for the school.”

By Greg Farrar Tyler Jensen, fighting for the ball against Mercer Island during a 2013 soccer match, returns as a junior to this year’s Liberty High School soccer team.

By Greg Farrar
Tyler Jensen, fighting for the ball against Mercer Island during a 2013 soccer match, returns as a junior to this year’s Liberty High School soccer team.

That’s the message behind this season’s team motto, “BTH,” which stands for “Bring This Home.”

Last year’s team won the KingCo Championship, earning an automatic bid to state. Liberty didn’t make it past the first round, though, losing to Shorecrest, the eventual second-place finishers.

The Patriots lost a lot of talent to graduation, including the team’s three first-team All-League selections.

“Defense is a little bit of a question mark,” Liberty coach Darren Tremblay said. “That’s where we lost a majority of our seniors.”

Liberty is seeing the return of second-team All-League midfielder Colton Ronk, though, who Tremblay described as the quarterback of his team.

Tremblay also said he expects big things from returning juniors Noah Anderson and Tyler Jensen.

“They’re both not very big guys, but they’re kind of crafty and they can score goals,” he said.

Sophomore Tyler Wray and Graham will look to fill the defensive voids left by graduated stars Joe Dapper and Jake Ericksen, Tremblay said.

“They were the heart of the team,” Graham said of the seniors, “but I mean we have a lot of juniors that will kind of, in a way, replace the seniors that left and shoulder the responsibility that they had.”

The Patriots will likely be in the mix for a conference title again, Tremblay said, but nothing is a given in the competitive KingCo 2A/3A League.

“It’s pretty wide open again, I think,” he said. “Mercer Island will be tough, Mount Si is always tough, Bellevue has some good players. There are no gimmes in this league.”

The light-hearted personality of this year’s team members might just help them as they traverse a long, tough conference schedule, Graham said.

“We’re a bunch of goofballs on this team,” he said. “We have fun and we joke around in practice, but when it comes to game time, our heads are in it to win it.”

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