LIBERTY, Ohio (WKBN) – The sounds and thrill of scoring a goal on the varsity level is something that hasn’t been heard in a decade for the Liberty boys until now. After 10 years without a varsity program, the Leopards are back this season.
“We haven’t had a program in such a long time,” said junior defender Greg Jones. “It was exciting finally being able to experience varsity opponents.”
“It felt great,” said junior midfielder Aidan Baumeier. “There is some pressure, definitely pressure, but overall it is great to be representing our school at a varsity level.”
For the past three years, Liberty has fielded a JV team only. It has been the first action for the program since dropping the sport in 2011, which meant starting from scratch.
“Not having a program for the last 10 years meant that a lot of the kids that were joining the program were new to the game in general,” said head coach Dan Yargo. “So the first few years was really good, informative years, getting the kids playing.”
“My freshman year, there were a few kids that played like their whole life and they really helped me and the other juniors to grow and play better,” Jones said.
Admittedly by the team and Yargo, it has been a work in progress for the Leopards. But the work is paying off as Liberty grabbed their first win in their rebirth in just their second game back.
“First win in 10 years. It was a good moment, exciting moment,” Jones said.
“It felt good. I had the guys reflect on the history that was made,” Yargo said. “But also not wanting to be satisfied with that first win. We are trying to build something special here.”
The old movie quote is, ‘If you build it, they will come,’ and that is exactly what the Leopards are looking to do in Liberty.
“Anyone can play soccer,” Baumeier said. “It is good to see a team that represents the community and give maybe kids hope that maybe they want to play when they get to high school.”