Liberty’s Conner Small comes up big with state wrestling crown

February 24, 2015

Conner Small didn’t achieve the dream of a lifetime on his own. The Liberty High School senior wrestler spent countless hours working toward a state championship with his father Bill.

The process was a long and sometimes painful one — Small finished fifth as a sophomore and third as a junior — but it was ultimately rewarding as he captured the Class 2A state crown at 170 pounds to close the Mat Classic XXVII, Feb. 20-21 at the Tacoma Dome.

By Greg Farrar Conner Small, Liberty High School senior, exults to his supporters in triumph as he wins the 170-pound state 2A wrestling championship with a 7-3 win over Sedro Woolley senior Jacob Farrell on Feb. 21 during the Mat Classic XXVII at the Tacoma Dome.

By Greg Farrar
Conner Small, Liberty High School senior, exults to his supporters in triumph as he wins the 170-pound state 2A wrestling championship with a 7-3 win over Sedro Woolley senior Jacob Farrell on Feb. 21 during the Mat Classic XXVII at the Tacoma Dome.

 

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Patriots send three wrestlers to state

February 17, 2015

Three Liberty High School wrestlers will compete at the state wrestling tournament Feb. 20-21.

Conner Small (170), Romney Noel (182) and Joanna Moreira (135) each qualified for the Mat Classic XXVII.

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Patriots prepare for postseason

February 10, 2015

As the 2015 winter high-school postseason begins, most Liberty High School sports teams are finding that everything is just a little bit different this year.

By Greg Farrar Samantha Kelderman (31), Liberty High School sophomore forward, drives to the basket and draws a foul from Bellevue’s Kathryn Roberts during the second quarter Feb. 4.

By Greg Farrar
Samantha Kelderman (31), Liberty High School sophomore forward, drives to the basket and draws a foul from Bellevue’s Kathryn Roberts during the second quarter Feb. 4.

The Patriots are now playing at the 2A level for at least the next two years. Liberty previously played at 3A, opting up a classification, despite the school’s size.

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Cancer taps out

January 20, 2015

Patriots wrestling team tops Hazen, loses to Highline in fundraiser tourney

By Greg Farrar Romney Noel, Liberty High School senior, looks at the referee while working to get Highline’s Connor Shea into a pin during their 182-pound wrestling bout Jan. 16. Noel got the fall at 1:47.

By Greg Farrar
Romney Noel, Liberty High School senior, looks at the referee while working to get Highline’s Connor Shea into a pin during their 182-pound wrestling bout Jan. 16. Noel got the fall at 1:47.

When the Liberty High School wrestling team hit the mats last Friday, they were tackling more than their opponents. Read more

Patriots’ swim title tops year’s best sports stories

December 31, 2014

It was another successful year for Issaquah community sports.

By Greg Farrar The trophy looks awesome up close for the Liberty High School swim team as it celebrates the school’s first-ever state swim team championship Nov. 15 at the King County Aquatic Center, earned in style with a 2A-record 348-point total.

By Greg Farrar
The trophy looks awesome up close for the Liberty High School swim team as it celebrates the school’s first-ever state swim team championship Nov. 15 at the King County Aquatic Center, earned in style with a 2A-record 348-point total.

Athletes at the three district high schools took home conference titles, state championships and, in Liberty’s case, made history in 2014.

Here is a recap of the year’s top sports stories, in no particular order:

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Patriots win league opener, 39-33

December 16, 2014

The Liberty High School wrestling team’s Dec. 11 homecoming was a victorious one, complete with a league-opening win over Juanita, 39-33.

By Greg Farrar Conner Small (left), Liberty High School senior, drives Mason McDaniel, of Juanita, to the mat in the second period on the way to a 6-4 win in their 170-pound bout during the Patriots’ Dec. 11 wrestling meet against the Rebels.

By Greg Farrar
Conner Small (left), Liberty High School senior, drives Mason McDaniel, of Juanita, to the mat in the second period on the way to a 6-4 win in their 170-pound bout during the Patriots’ Dec. 11 wrestling meet against the Rebels.

The Patriots returned to its home court last Thursday, after construction forced the team to spend much of the past two years down the road at Maywood Middle School. Read more

Signs of future times

November 26, 2014

By Greg Farrar Conner Small (right), Liberty High School senior, licks his lips as he anticipates signing his college letter of intent, as fellow senior Mackenna Briggs poses for her signing with her teammates and coach Kris Daughters on Nov. 12 in the school library. Briggs will spend her collegiate career on scholarship as a swimmer at the University of San Diego; Small will be a wrestler at Arizona State University.

By Greg Farrar
Conner Small (right), Liberty High School senior, licks his lips as he anticipates signing his college letter of intent, as fellow senior Mackenna Briggs poses for her signing with her teammates and coach Kris Daughters on Nov. 12 in the school library. Briggs will spend her collegiate career on scholarship as a swimmer at the University of San Diego; Small will be a wrestler at Arizona State University.

Patriots send five wrestlers to state

February 18, 2014

As the winter sports season comes to a close, five Liberty High School wrestlers aren’t ready to hang up their singlets just yet.

They have a date at the Tacoma Dome, where they will compete at the state tournament Feb. 21-22.

Joanna Moreira, Kyle Armstrong, Conner Small, Romney Noel and Quinn Magendanz will all compete among the state’s best at the 26th edition of the Mat Classic.

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Liberty wrestlers win Barry Knott Classic

December 31, 2013

The Liberty High School wrestling team won the Barry Knott Classic Dec. 21, sending eight wrestlers to the final. Four emerged as champions.

Nate Sjoholm (145), Jimmy Andrus (152), Conner Small (160) and Romney Noel (170) each placed first in their weight classes.

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MASTERS OF THE MAT

December 17, 2013

Liberty wrestlers overwhelm Juanita, 58-4

By Greg Farrar Conner Small (bottom), Liberty High School junior, gives Juanita sophomore Mason McDaniel an unintended piggyback ride Dec. 12 as they grapple during the closely fought 160-pound bout. Small won 7-5, polishing off the Patriots’ convincing 58-4 victory.

By Greg Farrar
Conner Small (bottom), Liberty High School junior, gives Juanita sophomore Mason McDaniel an unintended piggyback ride Dec. 12 as they grapple during the closely fought 160-pound bout. Small won 7-5, polishing off the Patriots’ convincing 58-4 victory.

The Maywood Middle School gymnasium may not technically be the Liberty High School wrestling team’s home site, but the Patriots sure looked comfortable there as they cruised to a dominant 58-4 win against Juanita on Dec. 12.

The Patriots won all but one of their matches, making a statement about the strength of this year’s team, led by first-year coach Wright Noel.

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