While the Redskin Nation didn’t get the outcome it wanted, it was the right outcome under the circumstances.
Liberal committed two critical turnovers in a playoff game and lost by two scores.
That’s what happens when you are fighting an uphill battle against a good opponent.
What I saw that will lead to success for this senior class, and for the Redskins as a whole, is that the team on the field battled to the very end, never surrendering.
Some may call it overachieving for this group, but that is not how I would characterize it.
There is something deep in the gut of every competitor that tells them whether to stay on the mat or get up, to take another punch or allow the count-out to continue.
Every time the bell rang, this team answered.
When all seemed lost, down by 33 in the fourth quarter, the Redskins reeled off 18 points, and they made it look easy.
While some may look at the disparity of the private school situation, the playing field with Kapaun was a little bit more even.
The Crusader student body is significantly smaller than Carroll, and in my proposal, a factor of 1.3 times enrollment for private schools, Kapaun would still be 5A even with the factor.
Friday night’s game showed that the proposal is fair. Liberal and Kapaun battled in a classic first-round playoff game.
Of all the playoff games in Class 5A, Liberal and Kapaun was the closest.
The average margin of victory was 35 points, so there is no shame in being one of the seven teams out of 16 to score 40 points or more.
It’s always tough for the seniors, and Liberal had its fair share of talent that donned the red and black for the final time, but they certainly gave us all something fun to watch this season.
One of my favorites was Nolan Larkin. The scrappy two-way player played with a grit that I believe was part of many successful teams in the past.
You can’t overlook many in the Class of 2014. It’s hard to turn in two straight 2-7 seasons and expect something to be different your senior season, but that is exactly what they did — they made something happen.
While 5-5 is not the goal it was necessary to get to where this team wants to go.
And the athletes are there to provide the building blocks.
From what I have seen, there are two goals I can see for next season.
The first is to compete for the Western Athletic Conference title.
The second is to earn a home playoff game.
The foundation has been laid.
Now it’s time to move into the house the Abbott built.