Liberty Redhawk Wrestling: LW News
Wingspan's Top 5 sports events of 2015-16
With school coming to a close, Wingspan takes a look at the top five sporting moments of the year.
Oh man, was this fun to watch. The girls’ basketball team was full of young faces, with five freshman making key contributions to the team. Suffering an early district loss to Wakeland, which snapped their 47 game district win streak, the girls’ did not let that rattle them. They won 18 straight games, including wins over playoff roadblock McKinney North, undefeated Mansfield Timberview, and a tough Cedar Park Vista Ridge team. The team lost to Canyon in the state final, but had won over the heart of the school and city. And by the way, they’re entire starting lineup is coming back for next season.
The wrestling program at the school is constantly winning competitions and meets across the area. Led by head coach Jason Thurston, the program, girls’ and boys’ have reached new heights every year. They do not settle; they’re always pushing for a better result. The boys’ wrestling team marched into Bryan High School, with the eyes on the State Dual title, after falling to Centennial the year before to finish as runner-ups. They not only won the crown of best wrestling team in the state, they also avenged the loss over Centennial. Excellence is a tradition in wrestling, and that’s all credit to Thurston and his staff.
With the program at its all-time high in regards to the recent playoff success, head coach Marcus Eckert could’ve done the same things as the previous year, and win district but not achieve that much playoff success. Instead, Eckert had other plans. Assembling one of the toughest non-district schedules he possibly could, Eckert was aiming for post-season success. Playing three eventual state champions (Desoto, Lancaster, Dallas Lincoln), Eckert had his team ready to go. Cruising through district (except for the battles against Frisco), the team played some of its best basketball late, weathering tough breaks and bad runs to prevail to the regional tournament. Falling to state champion Lancaster in the semi-final, the boys’ left it all in the court, and should have no regrets at all on how they played.
For the fourth time in five years, the girls’ golf team traveled down to the state golf meet, in hopes of continuing the team’s recent excellence. And they did. For the third straight year, the team finished with a top 10 score, finishing fifth. With many key golfers returning to the team next year, the golf team will look to make their now annual trip to state happen once again.
Many athletes are going to continue their athletic careers into college. Those include Noah Thompson, who will be pitching for Seton Hall, John Wynia, who will be playing soccer at Lipscomb, Seth Picasso and Carter Brown, who will both be going to Dallas Baptist University for soccer and basketball respectively, Rachel Rhoades, who’s going to play volleyball at West Texas A&M, and Madi Bryant, who will be playing softball at West Point. It’s a great moment for these athletes, and hopefully, they can continue what they did here over at their respective universities.
Tuesday, May 24
Wrestlers going to Missouri for summer camp
Members of the wrestling team will be attending a summer camp at Missouri. WTV's Matthew Thompson has the details
Tuesday, February 16
Eleven wrestlers qualify for state
Eleven wrestlers are advancing to UIL State after another dominant performance in the 5A Region II Friday and Saturday in the Nest.
Logan Mize (119), Virley Session (132), Jordan Robison (152), and Kyra Austin (185) won individual championships in their respective weight classes with seven more wrestlers earning berths in the state meet.
“I felt our wrestlers really finished this past weekend,” head coach Jason Thurston said via email. “That’s been our big word all year is to not just get there, but make sure you finish the job you started. They compete so hard regardless of who they’re wrestling, it just makes me proud how they represent themselves, their teammates, and the school.”
For the wrestlers, going to state is a great honor, but the job isn’t done yet for the team
“It feels amazing,” Session said. “I can’t believe the moment I’ve been working for so long is here. I am as ready as ever to go out there and chase the gold.”
Friday, February 5
Setting sights on state
Liberty Wingspan news story on the 2016 UIL State Tournament
Thursday, November 19
Wrestling to make cuts for first time
Wrestling faces R.L. Turner and McKinney in their first dual meet at home Thursday at 6 p.m. Wrestling’s success in the past several years has brought attention to the program as 92 students are currently on the team, a number the coaches say is almost too high to manage. For the first time in school history, the wrestling coaches are going to have to make cuts.
“Wrestling is a very tough sport, and one that usually people are hesitant to try,” head coach Jason Thurston said. “Success always breeds success, and I think more kids are coming out because of the success we’ve been having. So our numbers are higher than they have ever been, but our facilities and budget don’t allow for all of our kids that came out to remain in the program.”
“I have to be honest: the idea of cutting a kid from wrestling, knowing how it can help a kid in life, has been the hardest thing I’ve had to tackle in my 12 years of coaching,” Thurston said.The wrestling coaches believe in the potential of their athletes and are working to turn that potential into progress. They have avoided turning kids away for years, but due to simple travel inconveniences, the time has come for change.
This coaching philosophy, although controversial, has contributed to the team’s success in ways that can’t be recorded with facts and figures.
“It might go against everything coaching suggests, keeping those kids,” Brennan said. “But I remember, when we played Centennial for the title last year and the team was really tense, the whole team looked up in the stands and saw one of our wrestlers, who’s just not the most talented of the group, jamming out to his music, providing comic relief and calming the team. Everyone relaxed and we went on to win it all.”
The team’s growth in members has not only increased the quantity of wrestlers but has also made a notable impact on the quality of wrestlers and and that of the team as a whole.
“The growth of the program is amazing for the sport of wrestling as a whole,” senior wrestler Tamara Pavich said. “More people are getting exposed to the sport while programs are dying all over the country. It’s also nice that more people saw what we’ve done the last few years and want to be a part of it.”
Cuts have not yet been made, but at least thirteen athletes will have to be removed from the program shortly in order for the team to find success this season.
“It’s hard to practice sometimes,” senior wrestler Ryan Johnston said. “But the large numbers allow each wrestler to experience different styles of wrestling to help improve everyone’s skill level.”
Friday, January 15
Wrestling goes for state championship Saturday
“We’re looking to get first this year,” senior captain Dawson Hirt said. “We want to get some big champion rings for a really big team.”The team is entering the tournament with a 22-2 record and are coming off of a 57-18 win over Prosper Thursday night. The team left early Friday for College Station, where the duals will take place.
The tournament is hosted by the Texas High School Wrestling Coaches Association and is a head-to-head team based dual tournament with the winners of each match advancing to the next round. The top 16 teams in 5A were invited to the meet with the Redhawks entering the tournament as the number two seed.
Competing in the tournament last year, the team defeated all opponents before facing rival Centennialin the final dual. Coming down to the last match, the team lost a heartbreaker in the 2nd round.
“I’ve been thinking and preparing for this tournament for a year now,” senior Jalen Millow said. “The team and myself expect nothing other than gold and a state title tomorrow.”The rivalry with Centennial was a back and forth affair last year. After their defeat, the team bounced back and defeated them in the district dual meet, before the Titans won the UIL State Championship. This rivalry has had many of the wrestlers circle Saturday on their calendars, anticipating this event.
Practices and results in the season have provided head coach Jason Thurston with plenty of confidence in his side as they attempt to claim the title of the best wrestling team in Texas.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” Thurston said. “The team is ready, the practices have been on points, and everyone is investing in one another. We believe we will have a great weekend in Bryan, and are five duals away from earning the state title.”
Tuesday, January 19
Boys’ Wrestling wins State Dual Championship
The boys wrestling team made history Saturday, becoming the first sport at the school to win a state title, with their 36-27 win over Centennial for the 5A State Dual Championship.
“It feels great,” senior captain Kevin Overlin said. “It really means a lot because we came in 2nd place last year, and it was almost the same exact situation, except we came up on top.”
Going into the tournament, many of the wrestlers were excited at the prospect of bringing home a state title.
“It was a mix of nervousness and excitement,” senior Nathan Lewis said. “We knew we would get up to the final spot. It was just the excitement and nerves of bringing it home in your last year.”
Last year’s tournament gave the team a sour taste in their mouths, losing to the Titans in the final match.
“Last year we had an exciting tournament, but a heartbreaking ending,” head coach Jason Thurston said. “This has been the day that had been circled for a long time.”
The team won their first games of pool play, defeating host Bryan High School 45-27 and Houston Davis 72-6 to advance to the quarterfinals. Defeating Pioneer High School 72-10 and then Rockwall Heath 40-31, the team found themselves in familiar territory.
It would come down to the final match once again, except this time, the Redhawks would be the ones celebrating.
“How hard we worked in practice gave us confidence that we could wrestle anyone,” Lewis said.
Thurston talked about the admiration he had for his players.
“I love them,” Thurston said. “I love competing with them, and that’s not dependent on winning or losing. We had some guys drop some tough matches, but I love watching them compete.”
For the the wrestlers, this title will be a moment they will look back on for the rest of the school year, and even beyond.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Overlin said. “It’s something I’ll look back on for the rest of my life.”
Friday, December 18
No break for school sports
While most students are at home over winter break, some athletes at the school will be taking part in games and tournaments.
“The Christmas break will bring both great competition for us, as well as much needed rest,” head wrestling coach Jason Thurston said. “We compete at a couple very tough tournaments this weekend at Coppell in the Santa Slam and Mrs. Claus Slam and follow that up with 8 days of rest in the middle of the year. The wrestlers will work out on their own and come back on the 28th to prepare for Grapevine Duals, another very tough tournament attracting teams from 3 states.”
On the court, girls basketball will battle it out at the Sandra Meadows Classic, one of the more prestigious tournaments in the southern United States.
“It is one of the biggest tournaments in the Southwestern US,” head coach Ross Reedy said. “It has teams from not only around the nation, but around the world, such as teams from Canada and Australia. Last year we made the finals, which was unheard of with the group we had. Regardless, it’s a great opportunity to be around each other and to go out to eat and play basketball, and just have some fun with each other.”
Boys basketball will participate in the Dallas Coca-Cola Tournament, continuing their tough non-district schedule.
“I think that our side of the bracket is a lot tougher than the bottom half,” head coach Marcus Eckert said. “We want to play those teams; we sought after them. Expectations are the same as always. We always want to play hard, smart and together, be an inspiration by how we play, win the extra possession and play as a family. We feel like if we do those things, we got a big chance of beating whoever we play.”
The boys soccer team will kick off their pre-season campaign with a game against Newman Smith and school alumni. Former seven year associate coach Jonathon Mikulas will return to Liberty at the alumni game, now head coach of Reedy High School.
“We’ve been playing against each other for about five months, so it’s time to play someone else,” head coach Fred Kasier said. “Playing against Mikulas will be very Splinter-Ninja Turtle esque.”
Friday, December 4
Wrestling captures victory going into tournament
The wrestling team started its District 9-5A schedule Thursday sweeping The Colony at the Nest, with the boys winning 56-14, and the girls winning 42-6. But the teams have little time to rest as they will both be competing in tournaments Saturday.
The girls will compete in the Coppell Cowgirl Classic, while the boys will host the Liberty Throwdown Duals on Saturday. Hosting a tournament can be a challenge, but head coach Jason Thurston is grateful for everyone involved in making it a success.
“There is a lot of work that goes into hosting a tournament,” Thurston said. “We not only host the Throwdown this weekend, but we host the Regional Tournament in February as well. Our parents, coaches, and wrestlers do an incredible job of pulling everything together to put on a first class event.”
The Throwdown will bring in teams from other parts of the area in a tournament that will ideally prepare the team for other matches down the road, especially in the postseason.
“This year, we host Arlington-Martin at our tournament, the number 2 ranked 6A team in the state,” Thurston said. “They are returning several state placers and champions on their squad. Our wrestlers love to compete, so it will be a good weekend for them to go against another very tough school.”
Thursday, December 3
Wrestling team begins district schedule
After weeks of preparation, the wrestling team kicks off its defense of its district title Thursday at the Nest as they take on The Colony.
“I couldn’t be more excited to start our district dual schedule,” head coach Jason Thurston said. “We compete in the toughest district in the state of Texas so each week will be a great way to gauge training leading up to the post-season meets. The Colony is a tough, well-coached team and we’re excited to be able to duel them heads up here at The Nest.”
The wrestlers echoed Thurston’s excitement for the opening district dual and how it could set the stage for the season.
“The Colony is our first district dual of the year, so it’s really exciting to start our district season at home,” Hirt said. “The Colony is a decent team, but we should definitely take them out and the set the standard for the rest of the year.”
The team has high expectations for the season, with the boys finishing 5th and the girls having two top eight finishers in the State Meet last year.
“We have incredibly high expectations this season, and our kids have put in the training to meet those goals,” Thurston said. “Our men’s team is vying for the State title this year after our 5th place finish a year ago. Our women’s team is competing to bring home a state trophy as well. Overall, we believe our team can have a banner year this year.”
Monday, November 16
Red is the Color that All Winners Wear
Coach Brennan has a habit of writing poems for special occassions. This is his latest literary masterpiece (read the day before Red/Black Scrimmage
Tuesday, November 10
2015 Liberty Wrestling Red/Black Scrimmage Line-up
Tuesday, September 15
Wrestlers get head start on season
The Texas high school wrestling season doesn’t start for more than a month, but four Redhawks got a jump on the 2015-16 season by traveling to Houston this past weekend to compete in the Super 32 Qualifying tournament.
“It’s important because it gets you ready for the competition,” senior wrestler Virley Session said. “You’re going against tougher competition, people from Colorado, New York and all over the country start showing up and now when you’re going against some kid from down the street, it’s a lot easier.”
Session placed second in Houston and qualified for the Super32. Session wasn’t the only school wrestler competing in Houston as all four Redhawks placed. Freshman Tristan Tadeo took 6th at 145, senior Jalen Milow finished 5th at 113 and senior Kevin Overlin came in 3rd at 182.
With more than a month until the high school season starts, Session is already putting in the time as he goes for a state championship.
“We’re going all over the place and it’s exciting,” Session said. “I go down to Dallas and I practice with a club team and then I’ll stay after school and practice every day, and then every weekend and every single day I go to practice at NextGen. I’m always practicing.”
Monday, April 27
Redhawks Host Rumble, Set School Record Number of Wrestlers Competing
The Liberty wrestling team competed in and hosted last weekend’s Redhawk Rumble. They competed in both the Greco Roman and the Freestyle meets. At total of 23 Redhawks competed this past weekend, by far the most wrestlers we have ever had in an off season tournament.
Leading the team were Austin Bailey and Jordan Robison who both went undefeated on the day and claimed 1st place in both styles. Junior Jalen Milow also wrestled in both tournaments and placed 2nd in Greco and third in Freestyle.
In the Freestyle meet the Redhawks added 5 more Champions as Jonathan Green, Virley Session, Tom Cline, Logan Mize and Miranda Tyler each brought home gold. Freshman Broderick Green, and juniors Kevin Overlin and AJ Deleon fought their way to 2nd place finishes and wrestled an outstanding meet. Juniors Nate Lewis and Tamara Pavich completed the medal count by finishing in third place bring the total medal count for the day to 16. Not to shabby when you enter 23 wrestlers.
The coaches could not be more proud of this group of men and women.
Monday, February 23
Redhawks Cap-off Successful State Tournament, Continue to Set School Records
The Liberty wrestling teams competed in the State tournament this past weekend.
In by far their best finish ever, the Redhawk Men placed 5th, and placed four wrestlers in the top three. Senior Joseph Kim and Sophomore Jordan Robison both pinned their way to the finals. In matches worthy of a state finals, both wrestled extremely tough and lost heartbreakers before finishing as the state runners-up. Junior Virley Session and Senior Trevor Kleis both lost close matches before battling back to take third place. Junior Austin Bailey won two matches and fell one match short of placing in the top six, while freshman Jonathan Green won a match in his first varsity state tournament.
The Women were led by Logan Mize who fought her way through consolations. and finished in fourth place and become Liberty's second two-time state placer. Miranda Tyler won two matches and finished in the top eight while, junior Tamara Pavich and sophomore Emma Montes each won a match in their first trip to the State Meet.
It was a great weekend for the Redhawks. To put it in perspective for the Men's team, Liberty had only placed one wrestler in the top six in the history of the school, and this weekend placed four in the top three. Way to go Redhwaks!?
Friday, January 30
Liberty Men Win District Dual Title, Avenge State Final Loss to Centennial!
Liberty defeats Centennial!
The District Dual finals came down to a rematch between the defending state champion Centennial Titans and the Redhawks of Liberty, the number one and two teams in the state. It had all the makings of a classic and it proved to be just that. In one of the most exciting matches in history, the Redhawks avenged their earlier loss to #1 Centennial winning 36-28!
In front of a packed house, the Redhawks kept their poise and fought their way to victory. Just like last time, the dual came down to the final match. This time, sophomore Tom "prime-time" Cline overcame early nerves and pinned his opponent to seal the win. The fans came pouring out of the stands in celebration mobbing the well deserved victor.
Contributing mightily to the cause were Nate Lewis, David Essien and Andre Chavarria. Nate and David avenged losses in the state dual final to pull out important victories, while senior Chavarria pinned his state-ranked opponent in one of the most exciting matches in memory. Liberty also received pins from senior Akshay Soman and junior Nick Marchman, and decisions from Virley Session and Trevor Kleis. This team continues to overcome obstacles and come through for each other.
Liberty's JV and Women's teams showed up in force and helped create an atmosphere that no one will soon forget. It was a great night for FISD wrestling and a great victory for the Redhawks.
Sunday, January 25
Men Take 2nd Consecutive Coyote Classic Title; Women Place All 5 in Finals
The Liberty Wrestling teams were in action on January 23rd and 24th at the Coyote Classic at Heritage. All three teams wrestled beyond expectations.
The JV started the meet on Friday with a dominating performance. The Redhwaks put 13 wrestlers in the finals! The team finished with five first place finishers, 7 runners-up, as well as 6 wrestlers finishing in third place. Congratulations to our champions Broderick Green, Josh Essien, Tom Cline, Jordan Pressley, and AJ Deleon.
In the girls meet, all five wrestlers made the finals, with Sophomore sensation Miranda Tyler bringing home the gold winning her 32nd match of the season. Finishing in second place were Emma Montes, Martha Moore, Logan Mize, and Tamara Pavich. The team finished in a well deserved third place for the meet.
In varsity action, the Redhawks dominated the meet claiming first place by 54 points. The team wrestled with determination and purpose and came home with five champions! Finishing in first place were Austin Bailey, Jonathan Green, Joseph Kim, Jordan Robison, and Trevor Kleis. The team also had a runner-up in Andre Chavvaria, as well as three third place and two fourth place finishes. Overall the Redhawk’s placed in 11 of the 14 weight classes which was remarkable.
Tuesday, January 13
Liberty Wrestlers Finish as Texas State Dual Runner-up!
The Liberty Wrestling team participated in the State Dual Championships for the first time this past weekend. Showing no signs of nerves, the Redhawks bested teams from around the state to finish as the State Runner-up!
In pool play, Liberty defeated El Paso Chapin 57-23 and Huntsville 60-16 to reach the semi-finals. In one of the most exciting matches in school history, the Redhawks defeated Region I power Dumas 33-28. The Redhawks jumped to an early 21-0 lead on the stregth of huge pins by David Essien, Nick Marchman and Trevor Kleis. Senior Andre Chavarria overcame a four point deficit in the final period to pull out a extremely important one point win.? Trailing by seven points with three matches to go, the team relied on the deadly trio of Joseph Kim, Jordan Robison and Kevin Overlin to overcome the deficit and pull out a win. Joseph earned a 9-1 major decision, Jordan won by technical fall 16-0 to push Liberty to a two point lead where the match came down to Kevin’s do-or-die match. Kevin was up to the challenge and pulled out a 5-2 decision. His refusal to wilt under early pressure was remarkable as he earned the biggest win of the night.
In the state finals Liberty had the honor of facing the defending state champions in Centennial High School. Like the semi-finals, this match to came down to the last match. Liberty grabbed an early lead with wins by Andre Chavarria and Trevor Kleis as we then had to face Centennials tough lower weights. Austin Bailey and Jonathan Green wrestled their hearts out before losing close decisions. Junior Virley Session got us back on the board with a 6-3 decision. Akshay Soman and Jordan Robison continued their brilliance this year by pinning their opponents to close the gap. Junior Kevin Overlin had another thrilling match to pull Liberty within two points entering the final match. Senior David Essien fought like a champion and had the early advantage in the match. As the match wore down it looked like David was going to pull it out before his opponent was able to escape trouble and pull out a pin. A heartbreaking loss, but a fantastic effort.
The Redhawks fought with determination and wrestled for each other all day. Seeing this team come together, gain confidence, and believe in themselves has been remarkable.
Please congratulate these young men on a great finish... 2nd in State!
Friday, December 12
Liberty Rolls to 7-0, JV Continues to Shine
The JV Wrestling team out dueled Lonestar last night 72 - 21. Wrestlers who pinned their opponents were Cody Simmons, Joshua Essien, Tom Cline, Brenden Snel, Michael Hawk, Blain Rowe, Collin Essenberg, Caleb Lebaron, Nick Donnellon, Marvin Uriostugui and Fehrol Byrd. Wrestlers who recorded a win by decision were Jason Goins, Nikhil Dronamraju and "Bad" Brad Wilson
Tuesday, December 9
Men Win Tournament Title in Epic Fashion, Women's Team Places 4 of 5
|2014 Throwdown Tourney Champions|
The Liberty varsity wrestling teams were in action? over the weekend and what a weekend is was to be a Redhawk.
The Women's team traveled to Coppell and their five girls placed fifth in the meet. Emma Montes announced that she is a wrestler to be reckoned with by winning the tournament championship in the 102 pound weight class. Her finals match was a nice revenge pin over The Colony. Taking second place was Logan Mize, while Miranda Tyler-Williams and Kyra Austin both took third. The girls team is improvmg daily and will be a force to deal with by the end of the season.
The JV men hosted the annual Redhawk JVThrowdown. Wrestlers competed hard and brought home a lot of hardware. 3rd place finishers were Cameron Jones, Jordan Presley and Garrett Saltar. 2nd place finishers were Brenden Snel and Nick Donnellon. Champions of their brackets were Ryan Johnston, Blaine Rowe and Tom Cline.
The Men's varsity team had a great weekend as they won their own Thanksgiving Throwdown tournament. The team finished 5-0 on the day with convincing wins over Frisco, Azle, Paschal, and Trinity on their way to the finals against Wakeland.
In one of the most exciting matches in memory, Liberty defeated a tough Wakeland team by a final score of 36-33. Going into the final match Liberty trailed 33-30 with Senior Captain Akshay Soman eagerly accepting the challenge to get the win for Liberty. It was simple: he loses we lose, he wins by decision we tie, if he pins we win. After falling behind and suffering an injury in the match, he fought back to earn a pin and give the Redhawks the tournament crown. Akshay was the hero of the day! The gym went crazy! It was a total team effort and every wrestler contributed to the win. One of the biggest matches of the night was freshman Broderick Green's match against a very tough Wakeland opponent (Coach Mistr's son). Broderick wrestled with fire and purpose, and a confidence that is not common in freshman.
With Basketball's win in Garland and Wrestling's win in Frisco, it was indeed a great weekend for the Redhawks.
Thursday, December 4
Liberty Wrestling Sweeps The Colony
The Liberty wrestling teams traveled to The Colony on Thursday night and pulled off a trifecta with the Men’s JV, Women's Varsity and Men's Varsity all coming out victorious.
The JV’s won by a score of 72-28 and wrestled with a confidence that defies their experience. Overall nine Redhawks had pins with the highlights being Caleb LeBaron’s sleeper pin hold, and Arthur Davis winning the first match of his career.
The Women's team won their meet 24-18 with pins from Logan Mize and Kyra Austin. Follwed by the men's varsity squad beating a tough Colony team 46-25. Again, the rookies came through as Nate Lewis, Tom Cline, and Julian Reyes all came through with huge wins. Nate won 13-1 and Tom and Julian pinned their opponents.
The Redhawks are next in action at the Coppell Cowgirl Tournament on Friday and Liberty Throwdown Duals on Saturday
Sunday, November 2
Looking to get involved? - RWBC Membership
Booster Club membership is online this year! Please click on the link below to join the Liberty Wrestling Booster Club and to also let us know what areas you would like to volunteer in this year. It is going to be an exciting year and we need all of the help we can get!
Liberty Wrestling Booster Club
Monday, June 16
Promote the Vote - Best of Brand Awards
Remember you can vote 1 time per hour per device - get the word out and send the link! GrowWrestling!
Monday, February 3
Redhawks Place 12 at Region II Meet; Qualify 9 Wrestlers for the State Tournament
The Liberty Wrestling teams took to the mat this past weekend to compete in the Region 2 wrestling championships. The Redhawks took 17 wrestlers to the tournament and all 17 placed in the top 8, with 12 finishing in the top six. Both teams finished in fourth place overall.
The Women's team was led by Seniors Aleysha Duran and Gabby Pernice. Aleysha dominated her weight class, pinning all three of her opponents to become Liberty's lone Regional Champion. Gabby lost in the finals to her state ranked opponent from Saginaw to take home 2nd place. Sophomore Lizzie Sidler and Freshman Logan Mize wrestled a great tournament and fought their way back to finish in third place. With sophomore Tamara Pavich finished in fifth place, so the Redhawks will be sending 4 wrestlers and one alternate to the state tournament.
The Men's team continued the remarkable season by also placing fourth, sendiong three wrestlers and one alternate to the State meet. Freshman Jordan Robison lost an 8-7 heart-breaker in the finals to his state ranked Colony opponent, to finish in second place. Junior Joseph Kim fought his way to the finals before falling 6 to 4. Both wrestlers are to be commended for competing so well, in two of the toughest weight classes in the Region. Junior Trevor Kleis lost a 3-2 decision in the semi finals, before fighting his way back to take fourth place and punch his ticket to State.
Senior Steven Sands competed in THE toughest weight class in the state, finishing in fourth place, before losing a tough challenge match. He had one of the highlight matches of the tournament - throwing last years state runner-up to his back twice for a 11-10 win. Steven will join Jordan, Joseph, and Trevor when they travel to the state meet in garland in two weeks.
The Men's finish was by far their best ever. In fact, they improved their team score in the Region by 1200% over last year. The Redhawks also had three sixth place finishers in Virley Session, George Youtt, and Aidan Blong who contributed valuable points for the team. All three of these young men wrestled with passion and fire and left everything on the mat.
It was a great weekend and a great preview of what the future holds for this team.
Monday, January 27
Liberty Wrestling Takes Down District 8 Tournaments; Women's Team 4-peats
The Liberty Wrestling teams competed in the District 8-4A tournament this past weekend at Prosper High School and what a weekend it was. The Men fought hard and reached a milestone, finishing second for the first time in school history to rival, and number 1 state ranked Centennial. The girls defied the experts and won the district title for the fourth year in a row.
The Boys were led by junior captain Joseph Kim, who pinned all three of his opponents to win the title. Not only that, but he was seen smiling afterwards! Five other Redhawks fought their way to the finals before finishing second. They were Virley Session, Jordan Robison, Aidan Blong, David Essien, and Trevor Kleis. Essien, who was seeded sixth, blew up his bracket with a great semi final win, while Junior Trevor Kleis defeated the #2 seed to reach the finals and lost a heart breaker to the # 1 seed in the finals.
Senior Steven Sands finished in third place with a pin in the consolation finals against the defending regional champion from Wakeland, while Austin Bailey and George Youtt each took fourth place. Gabe Maele finished fifth, and advanced to the Regional tournament by challenging the fourth place finisher.
The Redhawks placed all 14 wrestlers in the top six which helped cement their second place finish. Most importantly, the Redhawk Men advanced an impressive 10 wrestlers to the Regional Tournament this Friday, more than any other team in the district.
Despite losing six seniors last year, the Women’s team found another way to win it all. Led by Senior District Champions Gabby Pernice and Aleysha Duran, the team fought their way to a three point win over Creekview. Finishing second were Lizzie Sidler, Logan Mize and Tamara Pavich. Logan's finals match was the match of the night. She battled last years sixth place state placer, Leah Olquin of Creekview, losing an exciting 17-13 decision.
The tournament came down to freshman Kyra Austin who pinned her opponent to finish third, earning four points for the Redhawks. Freshman Miranda Tyler-Williams finished in fourth place to round out the scoring. All seven girls advanced to the Regional meet this week at Heritage High School
The pro-Liberty crowd was led by enthusiastic parents and loony JV wrestlers and helped make the weekend truly special. It was a great place to be if you were a Redhawk fan.
The Redhawk Varsity teams will next be in action at the Region II-4A Championships at Heritage, while the JV will host the Sayonara Season JV Round Robin on Tuesday in The Nest
Friday, January 17
Liberty Sweeps Heritage; 7 Seniors Win Big
Last night the Redhawk Wrestling team put together the most complete evening in school history against the Coyotes of Heritage
The 3-time defending district champion Lady Redhawks took to the mats against this year's district favorite and came out with a 27-18 win. Highlighting the evening were Liberty's 2 senior ladies. Gabby Pernice earned a 1st period pin in her return to action from a month-long injury, and Aleysha Duran earned a decision against Heritage captain Alexis Perez who took 3rd in state last year and come in with an 18-1 record. Freshman Logan Mize sealed the victory with a pin in the 119 pound bout. The Women's team will look to 4-peat next week at the District Tournament
The Redhawk Men then stepped to the mats and rolled to a 66-11 victory. Liberty won 12 of 14 bouts, all with bonus point victories. Senior Steven Sands started off the night with a pin over a tough opponent, setting of a chain reaction that was beautiful to watch. The most impressive thing for the evening was that a number of matches were very close and Liberty was able to not only win, but pin in the process.
On Senior night all five senior men were victorious. In addition to Steven Sands, Zach Della Porta pulled out a 10-0 win, George "Blue" Youtt pinned his opponent, and Aidan Blong won 13-3, while Ben joy won his exhibition match in fine fashion.
The JV's were also victorious winning 16 of 25 matches in the process.
It was a perfect Senior night!
Liberty is next in action Friday and Saturday at Heritage for the Coyote Classic.
Wednesday, February 27
Liberty Crowns First State Champion, 3 All-State Wrestlers; Women take 4th place
Senior Amanda Allen became the first State Champion in Liberty history with her dominating 16-1 win in the finals over last year's state bronze medallist. Amanda will wrestle at nationals on March 29th, with a chance at earning a National title.
Senior Alex Pebworth, wrestling in her final tournament earned a 5th place finish at 110, and a tying the school record with 112 wins in her career.
Senior Isis Lewis earned a dramatic triple overtime pin with 1 second remaining to earn a state bronze medal at 165.
Freshmen Lizzie Sidler and Senior Yasmine Secrist both fell in the round of 8, just 1 match short of earning All-State honors.
The wrestlers will take some time off before starting Freestyl season after spring break. Anyone interested in wrestling next year should contact Coach Brennan or Coach Thurston.
Friday, February 15
Liberty Women Finish as Region II-4A Runners-up: Qualify 7 for the State Tournament
The Redhawks participated in the Region 2 Championships this past weekend with the girls finishing in second place. Led by champions Isis Lewis and Amanda Allen, the girls placed all eight girls in the meet, and qualified a school record 7 for the State Tournament. Isis defeated her nemesis from Frisco who had beaten her 5 times during the year. Isis got a takedown with five seconds left to pull out a 3-2 decision. Amanda won perhaps the toughest weight class in the meet as three of the girls placed in last year’s State Tournament. Amanda pinned all four of her opponents to take the title. Freshman sensation Lizzie Sidler and Junior Aleysha Duran reached the Region finals before falling and finishing 2nd. Senior Alex Pebworth, who had 5 pins in the meet, and fellow senior Ashley Williams fought back to take third place, while Senior Yasmine Secrist finished fourth, and junior Gabby Pernice finished 6th. It was a great meet for the girls who finished behind Region Champion Saginaw, but qualified more wrestlers for the State meet. Good luck at State Ladies.
The boys were led by Mitchell Horton and Marcus Haskin who both went 1-2 in the meet. Both seniors wrestled well and completed their final season in grand style.
Sunday, March 27
Reed, Peters bring home All-American honors from Oklahoma City
Ambre Reed and Hannah Peters loaded up and headed for Oklahoma City last Thursday to take their respective shots at placing in the USA Wrestling Girls Folkstyle Nationals. USA Wrestling is the national governing body for the sport of wrestling in the United States, and selects the national champions for each style of wrestling as well as world and olympic team members.
Ambre, originally slated to compete at the 105 pound Junior Division (15-18 year olds) bumped to 112 and finished in 4th place. Ambre opened her tournament by besting Toshia Possemato of NY 9-5, and 2-time Florida State Champion Tori Degginger 9-3 in the quarterfinals before falling to Cassie Harkleman of Iowa in the semis. Ambre finished her tournament with a 3-2 record including another win over Possemato to earn her first All-American honors. She will continue her career next season wrestling for King College in Bristol, TN
Hannah entered the 124 pound Cadet Division (15-16 year olds) having finished her season with school records of 48 wins and 40 pins in only her second year of wrestling. Hannah pinned McKenna Placious of Michigan early in the second period in the consolation semis before falling to Jackie Paul of Illinois in a tough match, 6-0. Nationals offer the opportunity to challenge for "true second", making Hannah's 2 losses in the tournament to the runner-up and now 2-time National Champion Becka Leathers of Oklahoma. This is also Hannah's first All-American honors.
These 2 young ladies took the challenge to compete against the best wrestlers from around the nation and came away as All-Americans at very tough weights. Congratulations Ladies.
Link to Article on USA Wrestling's website:
Monday, February 28
Reed Takes 102 State Silver Medal, Girls 14th overall
The Liberty Girls wrestling team went to Austin this past weekend to participate in the State Wrestling Championships. In wrestling there is only one state championship with no distinction between 3A, 4A and 5A.
Senior Ambre Reed became the first Redhawk to make the State finals. Her total domination of her semi-final opponent was a thing of beauty. In the finals she faced Hilary Cordero, the 3-time defending state champion from Amarillo Caprock. Undaunted by her opponent, Ambre fought with a fire determination that has become her trademark. Trailing by a point with one minute to go, Ambre pushed the action earning a stalling call against Cordero, but when the final whistle blew, she had lost a tough decision 5 to 4. With the win, Cordero was awarded the outstanding wrestler of the meet.
In just her second year of wrestling Ambre accomplished something that few wrestlers with far more experience ever dream of. Ambre leaves behind a legacy that is extremely rare: setting an impossible goal and not being satisfied with anything less. Her performance was noticed by everyone in attendance, in fact College coaches were all over her after the meet. Her leadership, determination and overall competiveness may never be equaled. Her effect of future Liberty teams is immense. She smashed whatever barriers were in the way and showed everyone what is possible if you want something bad enough.
Sophomores Hannah Peters and Amanda Allen wrestled extremely well in their first trip to the state meet. Each won a match before being eliminated. Hanna and Amanda each lost to eventual state placers but gained valuable insight into what it takes to compete at the State level.
The girls placed 14th out of the 255 teams represented in the meet. With a solid core of freshmen and sophomores, the teams’ expectations are now clearly on winning a state title.
Ambre's State Finals Match can be viewed here: