Good Luck

May 09th, 2021

brooks handoff to jaylinLiberal frehman quarterback Brooks Kappelmann hands off to senior Jaylin Staten late in the fourth quarter against Dodge City Friday. Liberal’s drive ended at the 4 yard line,and the Redskins never reached the endzone in a 35-0 loss. L&T photo/Earl WattBy EARL WATT

• Leader & Times

In a season that may only have six games in it, the traditional view on how long a coach may stick with the upper classmen may be out the window.

In most sports, when there is a balance between a senior and an underclassmen, the senior typically gets the nod unless the performance isn’t there or the team doesn’t experience success.

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But seniors have to do something with that opportunity they have earned by being committed to a program for years, showing up to practices and weight rooms, participating in camps and offseason workouts. They typically get rewarded their senior year by getting the nod.

But that advantage can be lost if the team doesn’t perform.

Usually, coaches have time to make those calls late in the year, but with three games canceled, the Redskins may not have that luxury.

It’s certainly not time to hit the panic button on the 2020 season, but there are only four scheduled games remaining before the playoffs, and the Redskins have to take a long term view.

Each week moving forward, the Redskins will face a bigger and bigger challenge. Friday, Liberal will travel to Hays to face the 2-0 Indians who crushed Great Bend Friday.

Liberal still has Great Bend, Garden City and Kapaun on the schedule, and they will have to reverse history to come away with some wins.

It sounds bizarre, but Liberal had its chances against Dodge City despite a 35-0 loss. One athlete for Dodge City basically made the difference. Dodge City struggled with turnovers and the inability to sustain drives, but Matt Friess stepped up when Dodge City needed someone to make a play.

Liberal has not yet shown they have a big play player. They have some workmen. Easton Zapien runs hard, but he hasn’t broken away. Shay Kerr hasn’t become a threat with his arm, and receivers have had chances to make big catches only to see them fall to the turf.

Unless someone steps up, and soon, it might be time to look to younger players so the program can work toward future success.

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EARL WATT • Leader & Times


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