During the last 10 years, Liberal and Garden City have won five games a piece against each other. One of the most balanced series in the state continues Friday night at Redskin Field. It's a meaningful game for seniors like linebacker Kedrick Eyle. "It really means a lot to me," Liberal's leader in tackles said. "We've been rivals since freshman year. I'm glad to be back and the team wants to show them what's up."
Garden City head football coach Mike Smith is very familiar with the rivalry. He was the defensive coordinator for Dave Meadows at Garden from 1988 to 1993. He then took over the Valley Center program and lost twice to Liberal in sub state. He's in his eighth year as head coach at Garden City and says this game is a toss up. "The five or six years it seems like the team who is supposed to win doesn't," Smith said. "Like last year Liberal was kind of supposed to win. They had a lot of senior and had beaten us the year before. You kind of have to throw all the records out. My second year here, we were 0-4 and Liberal was 4-0 and we beat em and the next year I thought we would be them and they beat us."
Liberal head coach Wade Standley is obviously more familiar with the Jenks-Union rivalry in Tulsa than this matchup in Southwest Kansas. Standley says he's more concerned about correcting his team's mistakes. "The key for us especially in the secondary is guys reading their keys," Standley said after LHS allowed three TD passes against Dodge last week. "We can't get lost or caught up in the game. When we make mistakes there in the backfield, it's because they'll take their eyes off their key and start looking at the quarterback. Anytime they start doing that it's trouble."
The Redskins are 1-3 with losses at Newton (32-8), Hays (21-17), and at Dodge City (55-17) and a win over Guymon (28-0). Garden is 3-1 with wins over Ulysses (30-6), Maize South (49-0), and at Great Bend (23-19), with a loss at Hays last week (17-16).