The fall sports season begins this week at Liberal High School. The LHS girls tennis team hosts the Liberal Invitational Thursday at Rowley Tennis Courts. The LHS girls golf team goes to Sublette Thursday. The football, soccer, cross country, and volleyball teams open next week. The coaches and athletes answered questions from the local media Saturday evening at the Liberal Soccer Complex. Liberal's first year head football coach Wade Standley comes to Liberal from powerhouse Tulsa Union. He says he's enjoying Liberal's Redskin tradition. "One of the things that has impressed us the most is the committment to not only athletics but academics as well," Standley said. "There is an overall committment to excellence. We are looking forward to being a part of that and hopefully we will keep that championship tradition coming on." Liberal goes to Newtom September 4.
The LHS soccer team went to another final four last year and won their eighth straight WAC title. They took third at state going 17-2-1. Head coach Lori Navarro says the Redskins will have to re-load. "I lost 12 seniors this past year," Navarro said. "Our expectations are always high. We have a tradition to continue winning. We put that on the shoulders of the new players coming in. We have a very young group. But like I tell them, you don't want to be the class to let it go." Liberal hosts Great Bend September 3.
The LHS boys cross country team won the WAC for the first time in 10 years. They won regionals for the first time since 2002 and placed fifth at state. Head coach Darrin Bevis is optimistic the girls team will improve as well. "The girls team has a lot of freshmen who are going to help rebuild," Bevis said. "I think the boys are going to be solid again this year. I'm just excited and ready for September 3 at Great Bend."
The LHS volleyball team has won three straight WAC titles and went to state for the first time in 22 years last year. Head coach Hugo Cano started four sophomore last year. His goals are lofty this fall. "We really don't intimidate anyone because we aren't very big and haven't been very big," Cano said. "When we get on the court, they (opponents) see us differently and we gain a lot of respect. We keep raising the bar. We got to state last year and didn't do so hot. This year, our goal is to make it to the final four after winning a fourth straight WAC championship." Liberal opens at Southwestern Heights September 1.