KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Liberty was scheduled to play a state championship at 6:30, instead, they started at 9:30.
“We just had to sit around all day, but we stayed ready, we were ready to go once we got out there,” senior catcher, Ryan Williams said. “Our assistant coach got us all Reign (Energy Drink) and we were really ready to go, all pumped up.”
But finally, when midnight struck, Liberty was announced as the Class 6 state champions.
“Just to have this opportunity to go down there and win this thing, it’s special, not only to the players, but also our community,” Head Coach Kirk Bragg said.
It was a first for Liberty since 2002, a first for the KC area to have a champion in Missouri since 2007, after an 8-4 win over Ft. Zumwalt West. It was particularly nice to beat two St. Louis area teams.
“They were really loud, they were trying to get in our heads a little bit, they were playing small ball, but we had to adjust to that, we had to work really hard in practice,” Williams said.
The season started out slow, seven members of the team didn’t join until 3 weeks into the season due to winter sports success, then the postseason being one and done from the opening round.
“Can’t really look pass it, because every team that you play, your season could be over. And you have to grind out 6 straight wins,” Coach Bragg said. “That is really difficult.”
But for a team that feels like a Cinderella story, ending just past midnight, fits.
“I think everyone was underestimating this team. Look at our team, we didn’t have conference player of the year, we didn’t have conference pitcher of the year,” Coach Bragg said. “We had a couple players all conference, but I don’t think anyone was arguing that we had the best players around, but, for some reason, our team bonded so well together that we were the best team in state.”