The Liberal boys graduated just one player from last year’s team that finished 10-16 overall.
That leaves fifth-year head coach Travis Walton with a lot to work with heading into his fifth season as head coach with four starters back and high expectations.
“We expect to compete at the top of our conference and district. We had a great summer and a lot of the kids have continued to work hard during the fall and are excited to get on the floor,” Walton said.
Seniors Matt Dugan and Jacob Dermott both return after earning all-conference honors last season. Dugan averaged 10.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game last year. Both numbers led the team. Dermott chipped in 9.4 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
Fellow senior Tyler Stebbins (4.1 points, 2.5 assists, 1.8 rebounds) and Dalton Davis (5.0 points, 4.8 rebounds) round out the returning starters for the Bulldogs.
Colby Selvey will see an expanded role in his junior year after coming off the bench last year. He averaged 5.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.
Depth will be a strength for the Bulldogs this season.
“We are very deep and have size and athletic ability. Our experience will be key also, Matt, Jacob, and Tyler have been on the floor since they were freshman and the other guys mentioned have all played meaningful minutes these last few years,” Walton said.
Senior Jayden Dalby, junior Gabe Daniels and sophomore Tyler West all saw time on varsity last year and will be looked to for more production this season.
“Four years ago I graduated all but 1.5 pts per game and we have been extremely young ever since. We had to play a few of the freshman that are now seniors on the varsity team to compete but for the most part we have brought kids up like we want,” Walton said. “Now we are very experienced and look to have a good year. We will be senior heavy with a couple great juniors in the mix and a sophomore point guard that I would put up against anyone. The kids are very excited as they know what we have and know that this team has a chance to do something special here at Liberal High School.”
Liberal opens its season on Nov. 21 at home against McAuley Catholic.