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The Live Wire

The Student News Site of Liberty High School

The Live Wire

Winter athletics recap

Cold weather didn’t stop Liberty athletes from working hard this season.
Bella Tafolla, 12, looks for a teammate in a game against Iowa City High, Liberty won 75-64. (photo given with permission from Parker Johnston) (Parker Johnston)

Girls Basketball

To start the winter sports season, the girls basketball team was putting in the work. With a senior class of six last year, the girls had to make some adjustments.

“With the senior class last year being so deep, we had big shoes to fill,” said Bella Tafolla, 12.

The team was set to play some exciting games throughout the season and came through with a 11-9 record. They beat Iowa City West and took down rivals Iowa City High twice.

To close the memorable three months, Tafolla said, “Our team really began clicking with each other in the second half of the season. We ended up winning eight out of the last ten regular season games, which is such an accomplishment.”

Boys Basketball

Trey Williams, 12, finds a pass in a game against Cedar Rapids Jefferson which Liberty won 73-65. (photo given with permission from Parker Johnston)

Liberty boys had a rollercoaster of a season and finished with an 11-11 record. This was a big improvement over last year’s 8-14 season.

“As the season progressed, more and more guys stepped up, which is a big reason why we won some of the games we did,” said Shea Sanders, 12. 

The boys swept Iowa City High twice, which helped the team set a new record for season wins. In the gym, the hard work didn’t stop until the last game.

Sanders said, “While our practice plans were the same [towards the end of the season], we got a lot more out of it because everyone was going 100 percent in every drill that we did.”

Holden Carter, 12, makes his way through the pool to win in the 100 yard butterfly at the state meet. (photo given with permission from cposephoto) (cposephoto)

Boys Swimming

The pool was a busy place for the boys swim team. As a combined team with Iowa City West, not every face is familiar. But they were determined to make this a memorable season.

Holden Carter, 12, said, “The team as a whole stepped up this year, we had our first new head coach in the better part of two decades.”

The team won five out of six dual meets and finished with a team record of 01:30.31 in the 200 medley relay at the state meet. This swim was a part of the team’s fifth place finish at state. Carter also had a big impact on the team’s score by taking gold in the 100 butterfly. 

“From day one of practices, the team intended to train as if it were the end of the season. We focused on the details and worked just as much at the beginning of the season as we did at the end,” said Carter.

Girls Wrestling

Evelyn Eggleston, 10, wins her match at the Kennedy Invitational, helping the team finish 5th. (photo given with permission from Parker Johnston) (Parker Johnston)

Liberty Girl’s Wrestling has only been around for two seasons, and they have already started to make their mark. With two returning state qualifiers, the team was motivated to better themselves.

Evelyn Eggleston, 10, said, “Many of the new wrestlers looked up to Taylor and me because we were the only state qualifiers last year. We helped the newer girls with skills. We had to be good examples for our teammates.”

This year’s roster of 17 girls trumped last year’s team of 11. The growing team saw many first time pins and three state qualifiers: Eggleston, Kensi Steele, 12 and Taylor Cavanh, 10.

“After regionals, the entire team continued to come to every practice up until state. The three state qualifiers, me, Taylor, and Kensi, worked on refining our skills we already had and having confidence in our training for the state meet,” said Eggleston.

Gavin Benton, 12, secured a win in a match against Cedar Rapids Jefferson. (photo given with permission from Parker Johnston) (Parker Johnston)

Boys Wrestling

The boys sent three teammates to the wrestling state meet, Vincenzo Lima, 12, Gavin Benton, 12 and Landon Bell, 10.

“I think wrestling is unique because there are no true [leadership] roles, but as a whole our team had great buy-in and work ethic.” said Gavin Benton, 12.

The team won three big MVC duals in which they took down Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids Jefferson and Dubuque Senior. In the District meet, Lima, won 215 with a 13-4 major decision. Benton placed second at 175, and Bell, placed third at 157. 

“We prepared for the end of the year by pushing super hard at the beginning of the year and in the middle, which allowed us to peak during the post season,” Benton said.

Boys Bowling

C.J. Dunning, 12, contributes to the third Liberty-West claim over the Golden Pin. (photo given with permission from C.J. Dunning) (C.J. Dunning)

The boy’s bowling team is another combined team with Iowa City West. C.J. Dunning, 12, is part of this team and has been a Liberty-West bowler since his sophomore year.

“One of the best things was being able to do something I enjoy, and being able to see the progress I made in three years,” said Dunning.

The boys have a regular game against City High for the Golden Pin every season. The Liberty-West team have held rights over the Golden Pin for three consecutive years. But the season still contained ways for the boys to improve.

“One of our biggest challenges was the fact we struggled to be consistent, and we missed a lot of easy spares,” said Dunning.

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