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Olentangy Liberty

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Patriots don’t expect rebuilding year


By SCOTT GERFEN
ThisWeek Contributor

When a high school football team like Olen-


tangy Liberty loses 17 graduates who helped
win two OCC championships and make three
consecutive Division II playoff appearances,
some might sense a rebuilding year is just around
the corner.
Coach Steve Hale, who said goodbye last fall
to his first four-year class, acknowledges those
uncertainties but believes his program is right
where it should be.
“Obviously we lost some very good football
players, but I think our kids are starting to become
a product of the system,” he said. “The kids
know the system very well and they’ve gotten
bigger and they’re a little bit quicker. So far,
we’ve been really pleased.”
The Patriots finished 8-3 overall last year after
a 28-21 setback to Wapakoneta in the first round
of the playoffs.
A 24-21 loss to Dublin Scioto in the next-to-
last game of the regular season ensured a third-
place finish in the OCC-Capital Division at 3-
2 behind Big Walnut (4-1) and Watkins Memo-
rial (4-1) and ahead of Dublin Scioto (2-3), New
Albany (2-3) and Franklin Heights (0-5).
In four years, Hale has taken his program
from a 1-9 finish in 2003 to records of 8-3 in
2004 and 10-2 in 2005.
Liberty in 2005 won its first playoff game 34-
19 over Toledo Rogers before losing to Avon
Lake 36-6 in a regional semifinal.
“We know we’ve lost some experience, but By Adam Cairns/ThisWeek
we have 17 seniors this year,” senior quarter- The Patriots’ Trevor VanScoy catches a touchdown pass in front of Marysville’s Brett Mancini during their scrimmage Aug. 11.
back Ryan Cypret said. “Some of these guys

. . . .
never have played varsity before and in the scrim- He brought a new dimension to an offense that “He’s been waiting for this opportunity and start on defense.
mages you would’ve never guessed that. We’re had focused solely on a running attack. he’s really excited to go out and show what he “The system is kind of instilled in these kids
hungry to win another championship and go to Senior Kyle Kready, who caught 16 passes can do,” Hale said. “At fullback, (senior) Tyler and they kind of believe in it,” Hale said. “We’ve
the playoffs.” for 256 yards and three touchdowns, returns as Eaton is the best there now. He’s a solid kid, but had a good camp and the kids have been work-
Cypret last year completed 78 of 130 passes the top receiver along with senior TrevorVanScoy. there are a couple of others we’re looking at.” ing hard, so we’re excited about the season.”
for 1,109 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed “We’ll probably continue to evolve in that The offensive line features returning starters Liberty will face its toughest non-league
for 232 yards on 96 carries and six touchdowns. area,” Hale said. “Ryan has a solid arm and it Michael Hilty and Logan Taele, both juniors, schedule, with home games against Wester-
would be a benefit to use him with our running and senior Dave Arra. ville North (Aug. 24), Gahanna (Sept. 7) and
game.” Hale will look to senior linebacker Ross Flem- Delaware (Sept. 21) and road contests against
At a glance The Patriots rushed for nearly 2,300 yards ing as the leader on defense along with Eaton Ironton (Aug. 31) and Westerville Central (Sept.
OLENTANGY LIBERTY PATRIOTS
last season, with graduate Ridge Riebold account- and senior Brett Coffey at the other linebacker 14).
Colors: Blue and silver ing for 1,056 of those yards along with 14 touch- positions. Kready and Eggleston will be at the “If we’re fortunate enough to make it through
Coach: Steve Hale, fifth season downs. Junior Allen Eggleston is eager to fill corners and senior Dustin Welch will play free our schedule and make it back to the playoffs,
Key players: Dave Arra, Ryan Cypret, Tyler Eaton, that spot after carrying eight times for 86 yards safety. we’d be prepared,” Hale said. “The kids know
Allen Eggleston, Ross Flemming, Michael Hilty,
Kyle Kready, Logan Taele and Trevor VanScoy
and two touchdowns a year ago. Most members of the offensive line also will there’s a huge challenge, but they’re ready.”
On the Web: olentangy.k12.oh.us
Central Ohio High School Football Preview ’07 • August 22, 2007

2007 SCHEDULE
Aug. 24..............Westerville North ..............Home
Aug. 31..............Ironton...............................Away
Sept. 7...............Gahanna ..........................Home
Sept. 14 ............Westerville Central..............Away
Sept. 21 ............Delaware ..........................Home
Good Luck
Sept. 28 ............New Albany ........................Away

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Oct. 5 ................Watkins Memorial .............Home


Oct. 12 ..............Big Walnut..........................Away
Oct. 19 ..............Dublin Scioto......................Away
Oct. 26 ..............Franklin Heights ................Home
2006 RESULTS
(8-3 overall, 3-2 OCC-Capital) PARKWAY We have the Good Luck
Whetstone ...............................................W, 50-0
Ironton...................................................W, 20-14
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Central Crossing.....................................W, 33-21
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Delaware..................................................W, 49-9
New Albany ................................................W, 7-3
Watkins Memorial.............................L, 21-18 (OT)
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Big Walnut..................................................W, 7-0
Dublin Scioto ..........................................L, 24-21
Franklin Heights .....................................W, 26-14
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