Inexperienced Patriots to rely on ‘grit’ in 2015

August 24, 2015

NEW — 2:48 p.m. Aug. 24, 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.

“What do you know about this guy that has nothing to do with football?” he asked his team. Read more

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Liberty starts new youth football program

February 3, 2015

If you’ve ever been to a Liberty High School football game, you know what “We are one” means.

It’s the chant that, without fail, win or lose, emanates from the packed Liberty home bleachers, showcasing the pride and camaraderie that comes with being a Patriot.

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Sorting out Liberty’s 2A postseason

November 11, 2014

NEW — 11 a.m. Nov. 11, 2014

As the 2014 fall high-school postseason continues, most Liberty sports teams are finding that everything is just a little bit different this year.

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.

Liberty’s regular season remained unchanged. They still played a competitive schedule in the tough KingCo 3A/2A Conference.

But now that the school is in 2A, the road through the playoffs has a slightly different look to it. Read more

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Liberty Patriots prevail in first football game of season

September 9, 2014

Russell Boston, Liberty High School running back, snakes through defenders in the Patriots’ 27-22 win at Lakewood on Sept. 5.

Photos by Gary Babcock Russell Boston, Liberty High School running back, snakes through defenders in the Patriots’ 27-22 win at Lakewood on Sept. 5.

Romney Noel, Liberty High School senior, leaps into the air to intercept a pass intended for the outstretched arms of a Lakewood receiver.

Romney Noel, Liberty High School senior, leaps into the air to intercept a pass intended for the outstretched arms of a Lakewood receiver.

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Liberty Patriots ready to take on 2A

September 2, 2014

After 16 years at the helm, Liberty High School football coach Steve Valach has seen his fair share of senior classes.

By Greg Farrar The Liberty High School Patriots’ top athletes, in their brand new weight room, include, from left, senior lineman Nate Jarvis, senior running back/linebacker Drew Hall, senior running back/linebacker Romney Noel, senior running back/defensive back Russell Boston, senior lineman Alec Waters, senior offensive/defensive lineman Quinn Magendanz and junior quarterback Nate Solly.

By Greg Farrar
The Liberty High School Patriots’ top athletes, in their brand new weight room, include, from left, senior lineman Nate Jarvis, senior running back/linebacker Drew Hall, senior running back/linebacker Romney Noel, senior running back/defensive back Russell Boston, senior lineman Alec Waters, senior offensive/defensive lineman Quinn Magendanz and junior quarterback Nate Solly.

This year’s, though, the class that will graduate in 2015, is in the running for the best he has ever coached.

“I think we were 3-7 in their sophomore year, so they’ve seen some lean times and still kept competing,” Valach said. “There’s some talent, and then it’s bigger than ability, it’s who they are as guys.”

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Liberty: 3A or 2A?

December 23, 2013

Azan Sarosh Liberty High School

Azan Sarosh
Liberty High School

Whether to be in the 2A or 3A sports division has caused an uproar at Liberty High School. Some see 2A as Liberty’s big chance to win, while others perceive 3A as home.

The main argument for remaining in 3A is Liberty has an opportunity to show that despite its size, it can win against larger schools.

“I honestly want to stay 3A. That’s where we’ve always been as long as I can remember,”

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Career game not enough in 55-21 loss

October 1, 2013

Russell Boston runs for 189 yards, 3 TDs

A week before Liberty’s Sept. 27 matchup against Juanita, running back Russell Boston had a special visitor.

Boston had dinner with Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew prior to the team’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Jones-Drew, a star at UCLA, led the NFL in rushing in 2011 and is considered one of the league’s top backs.

“He told me to surround yourself with the right people and just go at it 100 percent every day,” Boston said.

By Greg Farrar Russell Boston, Liberty High School junior running back, hits the jets at the midfield stripe to outrun three Juanita defenders during his 62-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Boston ran for all three Patriot touchdowns, despite their 21-55 loss to the Rebels.

By Greg Farrar
Russell Boston, Liberty High School junior running back, hits the jets at the midfield stripe to outrun three Juanita defenders during his 62-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Boston ran for all three Patriot touchdowns, despite their 21-55 loss to the Rebels.

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Issaquah loses 51-26 to O’Dea

September 24, 2013

The third time proved not to be a charm for the Eagles. The Issaquah High School football team played its third-straight 3A team Sept. 20 against O’Dea.

MaxPreps Freeman Rankings for Washington had Issaquah still at 24, despite a 1-1 start. However, it was the lower-ranked, visiting Fighting Irish (38) that pulled off the upset, 51-26.

The two teams were all square at 14 after one quarter. The Eagles scored a pair of touchdowns with the usual suspects — Derek Chapman scored on a 38-yard pass from Jack Neary and Jack Gellatly rambled in from eight yards out.

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Eastside Catholic douses Patriots, 62-9

September 10, 2013

As the clocked ticked to zero, and the scoreboard showed an ugly 62-9 loss for the home team, something beautiful was going on in the stands at Liberty High School on Sept. 6.

Despite just witnessing their beloved Patriots sustain a blowout at the hands of a talented Eastside Catholic squad, the still-full Liberty student section cheered louder than ever as the team approached the stands to thank their fans after the game.

By Greg Farrar Lorin Archibald, Liberty High School senior wide receiver, pulls in a 16-yard pass for a second-quarter touchdown Sept. 6 against Eastside Catholic junior defensive back Austin Moss.

By Greg Farrar
Lorin Archibald, Liberty High School senior wide receiver, pulls in a 16-yard pass for a second-quarter touchdown Sept. 6 against Eastside Catholic junior defensive back Austin Moss.

“We’ve got some great fans,” Liberty tight end Lorin Archibald said after the loss.

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Football Preview 2013

August 28, 2013

B4-5 aug 28.indd

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