The Liberty boys will have a third new coach in as many years with Brock Kenaga taking over. He is only new to the boys head coaching position as he has spent 23 years at Liberty coaching every level of basketball from junior high boys and girls up to varsity. He has coached the current group of Liberty players since they were in the third grade.
Liberty loses its top two scorers and four seniors from last season’s 17-win team that lost to Licking in the district semifinals.
Shalin Stout will be the leading returning player after averaging 10.6 points per game and leading the team in rebounding at seven rebounds per game as a junior.
“Shalin has had a good summer and worked hard on his skills,” Kenaga said. “We will lean on him a lot as he is a good player with a great deal of experience. I expect him to have a good season and be our team leader.”
Three other seniors return in Koel Orchard, Tyler Dewick and Braden Marriott. Orchard led that group with 4.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game as a junior.
Four juniors will contribute on the varsity level in Brodyn Kenaga, Andrew Holden, Colten Foster and Landen Cooley.
“These young men have also had a good offseason and should help our team this year,” Kenaga said. “They all have had varsity experience so they should be ready to step up and help the team.”
Holden saw the most time of that group as a sophomore. He played in 28 games and averaged 5.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
Liberty will have a much different look both with a new head coach and having to replace four of five starters. Kenaga expects improvement throughout the season.
“This is really going to be a new team this year so our goal is to really work hard on the defensive end of the floor and steadily progress as the year goes on,” Kenaga said. “I’m sure we are going to have growing pains as four of the five starters will be new this year. We do have a great bunch of young men and will be exciting to watch. We hope to have a positive season and give ourselves a chance to win come district time.”