LIBERTY Heart — Graduation did a lot of injury to the Liberty Middle roster right after the program’s third straight period with numerous playoff wins as a heartbreaking additional time decline to top rated-seeded Colonel Crawford in the D-VI Location 22 postseason capped a strong 7-3 campaign.
Casey Mohler’s fifth year at the helm will be the toughest nevertheless as the Tigers graduate their quarterback, best rushers and a few of its major receivers, alongside with one particular of the program’s best distinctive teamers in kicker/punter Asa Killam.
While the Tigers came up limited of retaining their Northwest Ohio Athletic League title standing, it is hard to be much more aggressive than LC was in 2020, getting rid of to Archbold by just 7 points and shaking off an -2 commence to rack up about 35 factors in a six-activity earn streak prior to the 34-28 reduction to Colonel Crawford and a 20-17 closeout gain at Allen East.
Significantly of that offensive firepower departs, as very first group all-Ohio running back again and NWOAL Offensive Player of the Calendar year Max Phillips graduates rumbling for 1,495 yards and 23 touchdowns and catching 13 passes for 232 yards and a group-high 5 TDs.
The QB throwing him these passes also departs in a few-calendar year letterman and next crew all-league decide on Cam Krugh (1,300 yards, 16 TDs, four INTs) graduating. Karter Kern (534 yards, four TDs) departs as the No. 2 alternative in the backfield, together with top rated passing targets Dylan Matthews (crew-significant 24 catches, 263 yards, three TDs) and Trey Patterson (16 catches, 235 yards, a few TDs) and managing again Brecken Garretson.
Up front, honorable mention all-Ohio lineman Evan Cramer also graduates, with veterans Evan Hogrefe, Cole Kahle, Riley Weaver, Devin Robinson, Zane Garber and John Smith departing from the trenches.
The cabinet is not bare in Tiger Nation, however, with senior tight finish Evan Conrad (6-4, 16 catches, team-high 339 yards, two TDs, second workforce all-NWOAL) again as the best offensive weapon.
6-2 junior Zane Zeiter and 5-10 sophomore Landon Amstutz will be candidates to replace Krugh as sign-caller with wingback Camren Foster (Sr.) and functioning back again Matthew Orr (Jr.) in the backfield. Returning lettermen Riley Chapa (Jr.), Gavin Gerken (Sr.), Emmett Perry (Sr.) and Ethan Tampurages (Sr.) will also compete for time at the receiver places with sophomore Josiah Johnson.
Senior Owen Johnson (first group all-NWOAL) and junior Owen Box are again as two-yr lettermen on the offensive line, along with seniors Luke Leatherman, Kyle Huffman and Jesse Noll at guard, deal with and center, respectively.
Sophomore Landon Bockelman (6-2, 235) reveals some guarantee, per Mohler, even though senior working back again TeJay Moore is a transfer from Napoleon that will suit up in Orange and Black this season.
Defensively, the linebacking corps will be exactly where the bulk of practical experience lies for the Tigers.
Conrad tallied 35 tackles and five sacks with 11 tackles for decline in 2020 even though Johnson led the Tiger defense with 59 tackles total, six for reduction, with a pair of sacks.
With Foster (honorable point out all-NWOAL, 55 tackles, 3 sacks), Orr and junior Tanner Kline in the combine at linebacker and Box (38 tackles, 4 sacks, six TFLs) anchoring the defensive front with Noll and Huffman, the secondary will be a important spot to replace.
Tampurages will see time in the defensive backfield with 6-3 junior Aiden Hammontree, Josiah Johnson, Chapa, Gerken and Perry as the graduation of Dylan Matthews and Trey Patterson normally takes 66 tackles and 5 interceptions put together absent.
Asa Killam’s departure sees 40-of-45 PATs and 5-of-7 area plans long gone as effectively as a 34.9 lawn common in the punt video game.
With the traditional three non-league game titles and 7 NWOAL contests again on the slate right after the COVID-altered 2020 season, Liberty Middle has tiny space to ease into the year. With scrimmages against Division III Defiance and D-VII powerhouse Leipsic out of the way, the Tigers journey to GMC and Region 22 title contender Tinora in week 1 ahead of visiting Napoleon in a Henry County slobberknocker at Buckenmeyer Stadium.
In the 1st varsity soccer sport on the turf of Kip Kern Discipline at Rex Lingruen Tiger Stadium, the Tigers will welcome in a proficient Otsego squad that attained the Division V condition semifinals.
The league race doesn’t bring an less difficult commence, both, as Wauseon visits LC on Sept. 10 before the Tigers journey to Archbold in 7 days five.
“Our agenda is very difficult, specifically early in the year,” admitted Mohler. “We have to grow up quickly and obtain out who can be counted on on a Friday night. We hope to contend each individual week and give ourselves a likelihood to earn.”
Mohler cited Wauseon as a league title favorite with Archbold and Patrick Henry not far behind.