The first three seasons of Chad Frigon’s coaching tenure at Liberty High School included an increase in victories. The fourth year is setting up nicely, too — but for an entirely different reason.
The Blue Jays must find a way to replace eight starters on both sides of the ball, but they will make the adjustments in Missouri Class 5 rather than the state’s biggest class. Liberty competed in arguably the strongest conference in the state last season — the Suburban Gold Conference — but will drop to the Suburban Red Conference this season, a league that includes smaller schools.
“I think our guys are excited for that,” Frigon said. “We were able to do some things last year, like beating a team like Rockhurst, but we couldn’t beat a team like Blue Springs. Knowing that we won’t have to cross paths with them, I think there’s maybe a different mindset for our kids entering the season.”
The Blue Jays certainly recognize the talent is far from bare in Class 5, with Frigon pointing to the recent success of programs like Staley and Fort Osage. Lee’s Summit West has swapped places with Liberty in both classification and conferences, and the two teams will meet in the opening week.
Liberty senior quarterback AJ Cambric has drawn plenty of Division I interest after topping 2,000 passing yards last season. Frigon said he has developed a better understanding of the offense over the offseason, leading to quicker decision making.
Senior Devon Bryant returns to the backfield after rushing for more than 1,000 yards last season.
Defensive end Cole Metcalfe, who recorded nine sacks last season, and linebacker Jacob McGowan will pilot the Liberty defense.