Fall Sports Wrap: Liberty
December 10, 2013
Coach: Debbie Simpson
Record: 9-6, 5-3 league, 1-1 in post-season.
Season's highlights: Advancing to the second round of sectionals for the first time. Beat Highland 4-0 in quarterfinals. Lost to Spackenkill 3-0 in semi-finals.
Top players: Julian Spina had a great senior year in goal. Leading scorers were: Brendan Siegel, Gustavo Romero and Kilian Bloat with six goals and one assist each and Fredy Leal with five goals and two assists. Our starting defense of Joe Kleinberger, Jose Cruz, William Velasquez and Stephen Clark was strong all season.
Coach’s comment: “We had a strong, talented, determined group of guys who played hard throughout the season.”
Looking ahead: Liberty boys soccer has continued to field full JV and modified teams. We will be looking to our underclassmen to move up and have an impact on varsity next year.”
Coach: Ralph Bressler
Record: 6-6 overall for the boys; girls were incomplete. “No real league record as the league has chosen not to allow us to compete against others in our division.”
Season's Highlights: “The boys’ team was a great group of guys. The highlights were working with them to see them get better each week. They were very coachable.
Top runners: “Luis Campos was our best runner but we shared him with soccer. Tom Dapp and Braden Law ran all summer an improved their times on all the courses they ran.
“The two girls I had (Kaitlyn Kellam and Sierra Thomas) were a pleasure to work with and made coaching them easy. They tried hard each time they raced despite nagging injuries.”
Coach’s comment: “The group I had was almost all seniors and they have improved since I started coaching them three and four years ago. I will miss them greatly next year. Some, I know, will continue to run track and cross country in college. Others will continue to run because they enjoy running.”
Looking ahead: “Cross country at Liberty has never taken the spotlight despite several outstanding runners and some good teams. It is a hard sport to "sell" since it is a hard sport. It takes a lot of personal discipline and commitment. Graduating so many seniors, five out of six boys and one out of 2 girls, is an added blow. There are some very good runners coming up from modified and I look forward to working with a new group.”
Coach: John Wilhelm
Record: 4-5 (2-1 league). Season's highlights: Qualified for sectionals for the fourth time in five years...”Our performance against Burke in the sectionals losing 24-19 after being blown out by them the week before. Our kids made a gallant effort against them.”
Top players: Senior Quinn Jackson rushed for 704 yards (11 TDs) and threw for 982 yards (11 TDs)... Sophomore Kevin Morgans led the team with 112 total tackles.
Coach’s comment: “Very proud of the effort and commitment that our kids gave us this year. This was a very hard-working team, dedicated to the sport and to each other.”
Looking ahead: “We should continue to be competitive over the next few years. At the end of this season, we were starting five sophomores. With the realignment and fewer teams in class "C", there should be one division which means two more meaningful games (5 instead of 3) for playoffs.
Coach: Anne Ramos
Record: 6-6-3 (3-3-2 league). Post-season loss to O'Neill in the Section 9 tournament.
Season's highlights: Won the Van Etten Memorial Tournament by defeating the defending champions in Monticello.
Top players: Top senior scorer is midfielder Rachel Bitjeman with seven goals, 2 assists and one post-season goal.
Top team scorer is 8th grade striker Olivia Racette with 10 goals and 2 assists.
Coach’s comment: “This was a very hard-working team, dedicated to the sport and to each other.”
Looking ahead: “We are losing six seniors (four starters) but have some promising underclassmen coming up from the JV and modified teams.”
Information not provided.
Coach: Kort Wheeler
Season’s highlights: “Winning our breast cancer awareness game (our final game of the year).”
Top players: “Seniors Tea Williams and Laurice Budd played better as the season went on. Underclassman Crystal Torres became a force to be reckoned with as well.”
Coach’s comment: “Our record does not show the heart that the girls have. They worked hard every day and never gave up. As a first year coach, I could not have asked for a better bunch. It was a truly memorable year for me.”
Looking ahead: “I am looking forward to next season because we have some very talented young ladies returning and moving up from JV. I really can't wait to get started.”
The Liberty girls’ volleyball team and coach Kort Wheeler celebrate their lone victory of the season in the breast cancer awareness game.